SectorIV is a historical romantic tragedy with so many themes, facets and dimensions, rich in historical facts and dripping with various elements enjoyed by lovers of fiction.
How might a feminist see this captivating story of hope, and the pursuit of safety in the midst of chaos and mayhem? An unmarried young woman surrounded by the ruins of war; what could possibly go wrong three? The journey to the phantom safety of #Sector IV takes readers through love, bereavement and grief, pregnancy, polygamy, widowhood, tough marital choices, and being a single girl in a strange city. The fictional romance story allows the perceptive reader a unique experience, like a roller coaster ride, through the life of women in the midst of violence and conflict.
While telling the story of the Biafran war from the perspective of many vibrant characters, the writer subtly highlights gender inequality and bias, social and economic rights of women and girls, as well as gender roles in domestic relationships. In some homes in Nchara, a kitchen matter is strictly a woman’s business, a man is disappointed that his only child is a girl but dreams of sending her to school in Cambridge; a woman re-christened by her in-laws proudly bears her new first name, while a husband swiftly serves his wife a hot slap in the heat of argument.
The author brought some often-overlooked and underrated feminine qualities to fore in this book: a mother’s problem solving ability, a girlfriend’s role on her friend’s wedding day, a confidant of the most intimate secrets and providing succor in times of grief. The writer showed women supporting other women through childcare challenges, while some others demonstrated generosity, compassion and resilience in the face of fear and danger.
Harmful traditional practices rear their ugly heads, even in time of grief and mourning. Picture a woman who has just lost her spouse in a war, returning to confront in-laws who prevented her from returning home because she could not bring the husband’s dead body back home. Such are the usually unexplored battles and struggles which the writer also beautifully captured in this interesting book.
Who would have imagined that a naked woman could disarm a soldier faster than a Dimkpa? The writer did, revealing the power of seduction and how it could save or take a life.
Not every man in Nchara is a wife slapping brute; a number of men defied the likelihood of brutality and stood bravely in the face of almost certain death in defense of women. Protectors, rivals, hunters, providers and lovers all make an otherwise terrifying trip to SectorIV a worthwhile voyage for all lovers of fiction.