Title: Season of Crimson Blossoms
Author: Abubakar Adam Ibrahim
Publisher: Speaking Tiger International Fiction
Genre: Literary Fiction
Rating: 5 Stars
“Season of Crimson Blossoms” is the kind of book that grows on you. As I started reading it, it did not do much. But I was about fifty pages in and was completely taken in by its language, the characters, and the storyline. The book is about an older woman’s sexuality and it had me rooting for her like no one else in literature in recent times. The book then as it should be being unapologetic, and non-western and shines as a post-colonial Nigerian work of fiction.
Binta is a now a widow. She is fifty-five years old and has always lived life colouring in between the lines and not exploring enough. She doesn’t know what it means to live – to truly experience life for what it is. Her firstborn dies and grief engulfs her. Reza, on the other hand, is a thug and a gang member and deals in drugs. He is only twenty-six and his mother has abandoned him. They both meet. She is old enough to be his grandmother. And yet, there is something which neither of them can resist and romance blossoms between the two, despite all odds – despite political unrest, religious upheaval and the basic difference between their ages and what the world might have to say.
The story is non-judgmental and please as a reader, I urge you to not judge at all while reading it. The tone is fresh, unlike any other Nigerian writer I have read and for me, that worked like a charm. Ibrahim writes with such ease. Nothing is hidden. All emotions are out there – simmering from page one and then before you know it, you are engulfed in them, which works wonders for this book. The Nigerian political structure and social frameworkares brilliantly depicted through Binta and Reza and the moments they share.
“Season of Crimson Blossoms” will shock you, surprise you, make you empathize to the bone, make you mad sometimes, but above all will make you see love for what it is – just love.