Book: The Sweetest Remedy by Jane Igharo
Source: I received a copy from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: September 28st, 2021
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Today’s review is technically a part of a blog tour run by Berkley. The blog tour may have ended 3 days ago, but I’m here with my review nonetheless! When I got invited to be a part of the blog tour, I was intrigued. I had heard good things about Jane Igharo’s previous title, Ties That Tether, and I adored the cover of her newest release, The Sweetest Remedy. After reading the synopsis, I decided that this sounded like a wonderful story about identity, love, and family, and signed right up!
The Sweetest Remedy follows Hannah, who is invited to her father’s funeral in Nigeria. She has had no relationship with her father because he had a family back in Nigeria that he neglected to mention to Hannah’s mother before she became pregnant. Therefore, Hannah doesn’t know her siblings either. Hannah decides to go to the funeral and try to get to know the family and culture she has always wished to know. While there she runs into the man she had a connection with a few weeks back, who may just be everything she’s been looking for.
This book had many elements that should have worked so well for me. A complex family dynamic, a developing sense of identity, an introduction to a new culture, and of course, a romance. However, as much as I enjoyed these aspects in the beginning of the story, by the end of the book I had lost all interest.
My main, and possibly only issue with this book was the writing. There was a lot of showing and not telling, which meant that I could not get emotionally invested in this story whatsoever. It wasn’t just that I felt no chemistry for the romance, it was that I never felt any character’s grief, happiness, anger, or excitement. In addition to that, there was no dimension to any characters or the plot. Characters switched emotions in the span of a sentence. They went from being upset (and rightfully so in many cases) to having a complete change of heart, without needing any time to process. If that had happened only once, or only with one character, I could have forgiven it, but since every character reacted this way every time there was a heart to heart, I lost what little investment I had remaining in the story. There were no stakes anymore. As soon as someone apologized, they’d be forgiven. As soon as someone was given an explanation, they’d have no more disappointment. Not only was it unrealistic, but it was frustrating to see this lack of emotional depth.
I really wanted to like this book, but sadly I didn’t. I know that there are many people that have enjoyed this book, so it’s possible that my preferences just didn’t align with the writing, but I don’t think I’ll be reading anything from this author in the future, regardless of how gorgeous the covers of her books are.