Welcome to another book review!
This is the type of sad book that you absolutely need this season. It was genuinely so moving that its been over a month since I read it and I still think about it. This book tables grief in a way that I have never read before. You absolutely need to check it out.
*Thanks to the publisher for sending an ARC of this book to me.
Title: Someday, Maybe
Author: Onyi Nwabineli
Publisher: Magpie Books (Oneworld Publication)
Publication date: October 6th, 2022
So at the point of writing this review, it has been about 3 weeks since I finished this book. I was actually sobbing once I finished it and I needed to think about the immerse loss I felt after completing it. While reading it, it felt like having a conversation with someone who understood, who listened, who was not just uttering meaningless ‘you are gonna be fine’ but telling me ‘it’s okay to hurt, it’s okay to be in pain, live in it for a bit… when you are ready’. The brutal honesty of this book is one that I would never forget and absolutely appreciate.
Some of the TW’s include suicide, grief, death and depression.
“There lives within all humans an inherent arrogance. An oftentimes misplaced confidence and assuredness that we are in control of every occurrence in our lives”
Told in 3 parts, this book follows Eve who has just found her husband’s (Quentin) body after he took his own life. This book chronicles their life from university up to the point she says goodbye to his ashes. There is a stench of guilt, grief and apologetic-but-frustrated silence and reverence that coat the pages of this book. Eve cannot understand why her husband who was deeply in love with her, who seemed perfectly happy and whose photography career was making new leaps, would kill himself. I think Onyi (the author), did an amazing job by not answering or providing relief for Eve and we the readers, we don’t know why he did it and the stark absence of that answer, presses upon us the reality, brevity and abruptness of suicide.
With no suicide note left, guilt begins to creep in and Quentin’s mother is not helping. She is constantly calling, sending messages and antagonising Eve. I honestly could understand, she had just lost her child and she never really liked Eve in the first place. But her constant interference, just continued to drive Eve further into her grief. She can’t help but ask how she missed it, how could he have loved her so much but be capable of taking himself away from her in the cruellest way possible. She wonders “How far could his love truly have stretched if it did not extend to opening the door to his pain and letting me wade into it with him” .
In her grieving, she is beginning to realise that all people want from her is to get better. It is to be happier, to stop crying but the type of pain she feels is not just the one of loss but the one burdened by self-hate, self-blame and fear. The reminders were constant, no matter the amount of delicious Nigerian food her worried mother made, no matter the amount of cuddles she got from her amazing nieces and nephews, no matter the amount of time she spent with her stable brother (who by the way I have a crush on), “There is no reminder of pain as poignant as the physical manifestation of it over the place your heart resides”.
She losses her job, doses up on drugs, escapes from London, finds out that she might be pregnant, she wonders if Quentin knew about it, if he would have stayed. But as always, “Part of the cruelty of suicide, the reason it is still such a taboo, is the unanswered questions it leaves behind: What would it have taken to keep him here? What possibly could I have done better? What is so wrong with me that I wasn’t worth living for?“.
I can understand this, as someone who has had a close friend kill herself, I can tell you that the guilt, What did I do? Why didn’t I see it? But she was happy, wasn’t she?, could I have done something? was it my fault? was my presence in her life not enough for her to wish to see me again? was I truly despicable that she chose death over me? Should I have never met her? Should I have dated her when she asked me? – These are some of the questions I continue to ask myself. My friend who was in so much pain must have forgotten that;
“… your life is never completely your own when you have people who love you”.
She watches herself burn her relationships, pushing her family and friends away because;
“Grief torches your capacity for both sympathy and empathy”
I really appreciated this book. I loved the way Onyi explore family relationships and closeness. From Eve’s grandmother back in Nigeria, calling and even sending cooking ingredients to lift her spirits. To her siblings constant support, to the friends she made at drawing class. This book illustrated the power of relationships and their ability to provide a place of solace.
I highly recommend this book.
I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars.
Thanks for reading.