Bridgett M. Davis’s latest novel Into the Go-Slow is a remarkable tale that powerfully addresses the challenges that arise while on the search for the often hidden and misconstrued answers to life. Davis takes you on this adventure through the lens of a young, black woman from Detroit named Angie. Angie is in a very critical point in her life where she is trying to find meaning and purpose amidst the whirlwind that she has been tossed into. The death of her eldest sister, Ella, has left a gaping hole in her life, and she tirelessly searches for pieces of her sister as a means of finding herself. This strenuous search leads her to Nigeria, one of the most multilayered places on earth, a completely different environment than what she’s used to. Nigeria was a place that was particularly dear to her late sister; Angie hopes that by going there she will find pieces of Ella and gain understanding. In this colorful nation, she is met with both daunting challenges and fascinating encounters with some of her sister’s old friends and with everyday life in Nigeria. Whether or not she will be able to find the spirit of her late sister and in-turn find her own identity, remain unknown; for Angie, the answers seem to lie trapped in the endless hustle and bustle of the Lagos “go-slow”.
By Damola Durosomo, AFROPUNK Contributor
Davis’ novel is richly written and authentic. The term go-slow refers to the infamous, slow-moving Lagos traffic—a term that only someone truly familiar with Nigerian terminology would know. As a Nigerian, I am always slightly skeptical when a piece of work centers on Nigeria for fear that the country might not be properly captured or portrayed. Davis’ use of Nigerian references was spot-on, and they offered a humorous tinge to the novel. She addresses the complexity of the relationship between African nations and Black America with accuracy, and acknowledges that though the two cultures are connected in certain ways, they are also very removed from one another—a truth that is widely explored in Into the Go-Slow.
Into the Go-Slow’s it is a reflective tale about coming in to one’s own through complicated circumstances; It will certainly resonate with readers, like myself, who are in that pivotal, transitional phase in life where we have to make decisions that will significantly affect out futures. We sometimes face uncertainty and are overwhelmed with unsettling questions about the future, but more times than not we don’t actually have to go too far in order to find the answers to these burgeoning questions. There is comfort in knowing that when we do embark on our journeys in search of these answers, we will be left with a newfound wisdom and an increased sense of awareness. Into the Go-Slow does an impressive job of addressing this fact. It is truly an enjoyable read! Be sure to check Into the Go-Slow out, along with its electrifying Spotify playlist!
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