“Hajiya Binta Zubairu was finally born at fifty-two when a dark-lipped rogue with short, spiky hair, like a field of miniscule anthills, scaled her fence and landed, boots and all, in the puddle that was her heart.” Season of Crimson Blossoms.
Season of Crimson Blossoms is not a book to be easily forgotten or put aside. It pulls the reader into its simple but exquisite narrative. The metamorphosis of Hajiya Binta, a middle aged woman, is a rebirth akin to a butterfly finally emerging from its chrysalis. Her sexual awakening and midlife crises spread all through this story of an unusual love doomed from the start.
The book strikes at themes not many are brave enough to confront: forced marriage and divorce, the fate of children, the dynamics of family ties, women’s sexuality and their place in the society, the intricacies of love and lust. In fact, sex is presented as a basic human need.
The subtle references to deeper events put me on a frenzy rollercoaster, making me want to jump into the dark well, where the past of Hajiya Binta lay buried, to find out about Yaro, or even the little Ummi, to link up with the handsome Reza.
We see Binta’s struggles in her marriage and the raising of her children. I became a resident of her inner mind journeying through her memories. I wondered what drove Reza to San Siro. But as I swirled in his motives, I felt pity for this broken boy trying to make a new life. I had doubts about his affair with Binta, but I kept rooting for them. Faizas affliction made my heart jump. I loved the feeling of her losing herself in books.
We see the naivety of people in the treatment of psychological matters. The effects of trauma caused by violence is shown through the eyes of someone who experienced the effect of ethnicity in a place such as Northern Nigeria. It gave me snapshots of the machinations in our country, the manipulations of young minds, and the elaborate schemes which we just never care to see. Above all, it shows life indeed goes on, heedless to our choices.
This beautiful story will stay with me for a long time.
Book Title: Season of Crimson Blossoms
Author: Abubakar Adam Ibrahim Publisher: Cassava Republic Press. Page: 346
The reviewer, Habiba Malumfashi has her bio in the members’ profile section.