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House Woman

"Secrets, lies and entrapment — from Lagos to Texas, this edge-of-your seat thriller follows the struggles of a courageous young woman seeking to flee her abusive in-laws."

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LoveReading Says

LoveReading Says

Thought-provoking, unnerving and utterly gripping, Adorah Nworah’s House Woman is a tremendously accomplished debut. A first-class psychological thriller, it follows the traumatic experiences of Ikemefuna, a young dancer who’s sent from her Lagos hometown to live in Sugar Land, Texas.

Led to believe her new life in America will lead to landing a fine husband, freedom and education, reality bites hard when Ikemefuna discovers she’s all-but imprisoned, with her in-law’s desire for a grandson reaching abusively desperate levels. 

Ahead of her new husband’s return from a business trip, Ikemefuna is instructed to show their son she’s “wife material”: “You must be ladylike. Cross your legs and shine your teeth. But not too much. You are a girl, not a goat.” 

On his return, though she’s “tired of blending into the lives of men who did not love her”, and though she imagines her escape, Ikemefuna realises, “I still have to kiss that man for now”, because “She only had one shot to play her cards right and when she did, it must be powerful enough to set her free.”

Into this tension, Ikemefuna makes a startling discovery. At the same time, her husband begins to doubt his parents. Indeed, a major theme of this readable thriller is the nature and effects of truth: “Truths were rigid and unwieldy. Once allowed to enter, they changed lives and crushed spirits.”

Offering astute commentary on America (“Anyone can be anyone here” versus “anyone can disappear here”), white bigotry, and the valuing of men over women, House Woman builds to an audacious and brilliantly bold finale that will leave you reeling.

Joanne Owen

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Primary Genre Thriller and Suspense
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