Sunday, April 5, 2015

Sefi Atta’s Everything Good Will Come: A Synopsis

Everything Good Will Come is about the coming-of-age of Enitan, the chief character, as she develops from a gripping aura of innocence to an assertive consciousness. Born into two tangled worlds – an unhappy home where father and mother are like cats and rats, and a country replete with political inconsistencies and instability – Enitan staggers her way through self-doubt into self-realisation and actualisation. The story dramatizes how Enitan manages to defy her childhood pre-conditioning of a failed marriage as characterised by her parents’ unending fight and misunderstanding.
Growing up, Enitan is torn between what is right for herself and what is right for her parent. Despite her privileged upbringing, a special treatment her father never ceases to refer her to later in the story, she is less of a happy child. But her unhappy state will soon transform into mirth, liveliness and self-belief when she becomes friend with Sheri, a girl of her age next door whose lifestyle is completely unalike to hers. Unlike Enitan, Sherri is free and spoilt, even though she is born into a polygamous family and a Muslim. Soon, Sheri’s behaviour earns her unwanted pregnancy as a result of rape, when she and Enitan go to Ikoyi Park to have some fun, without the knowledge of their parents.
After college Enitan goes to England for her law degree and soon returns for NYSC. She meets Mike, an artist and falls in love with him. Meanwhile, Sheri has become a housewife of one Brigadier and all her childhood aspirations of travelling round the world now dashed because she has to acquiesce only to the desires of her strict Muslim husband who believes that the place of a woman is her husband’s home.  Later she is compelled to move out of the house after engaging in a free-for-all with him. Enitan too, who has packed in with her after her discovery of her father’s and then Mike’s deceit and lies, has to leave for her mother’s place.

As the political tension in the country intensifies, there are coups upon coups; many people arrested, others’ whereabouts unknown; Enitan miscarriages, her father arrested alongside Peter Mukoro, his client, having petitioned the government for arresting the latter. Grace Ameh, a journalist, who now prints underground, is also arrested along with Enitan for their involvement in a reading session. Thereafter, they are released; and Enitan soon gives birth to Yimika. Fortunately for her, another coup leads to the suspension of the military junta and enthronement of democracy. Consequently, Sunny Taiwo, Enitan’s father is among the released detainees. The novel then ends with Enitan openly displaying her joy on her father’s release, as she goes to meet him.