How You Grow Wings, Rimma Onoseta

An illustration of two sisters from the neck up, looking in opposite directions. A pink bird flies in the lower left hand corner of the yellow cover.

Set in Nigeria, Cheta and Zam live in an abusive home, though Zam has it much easier than Cheta, who is often at the end of her mother’s wrath. That cycle has created a divide between the sisters, and Zam, who is meek, and refuses to speak up, can’t seem to make her sister happy. So when Zam gets the opportunity to move in with her wealthy aunt and uncle, she takes it. Anything to get her away from her mother’s wrath, her father’s silence, and Cheta’s ire.

I enjoyed the alternating perspectives in this character-driven novel. We look at the cycle of abuse, classism, colorism, and more through each sister’s perspective. With one sister living amidst wealth, and the other desperate to flee their mother, their lives take drastically different turns. This is an emotional read that touches on so many issues I feel will be beneficial for readers. Thank you, Algonquin, for sending this along.

Book Links (releasing August 9th)


About the Book

Sisters Cheta and Zam couldn’t be more different. Cheta, sharp-tongued and stubborn, never shies away from conflict—either at school or at home, where her mother fires abuse at her. Timid Zam escapes most of her mother’s anger, skating under the radar and avoiding her sister whenever possible. In a turn of good fortune, Zam is invited to live with her aunt’s family in the lap of luxury. Jealous, Cheta also leaves home, but to a harder existence that will drive her to terrible decisions. When the sisters are reunited, Zam alone will recognize just how far Cheta has fallen—and Cheta’s fate will rest in Zam’s hands.

Debut author Rimma Onoseta deftly explores classism, colorism, cycles of abuse, how loyalty doesn’t always come attached to love, and the messy truths that sometimes, family is not a source of comfort, and that morality is all shades of grey.

Read this review on Goodreads and Bookbub.

2 thoughts on “How You Grow Wings, Rimma Onoseta

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