Book Review- The House My Father Built

We are excited to be back. On our grill this week, we present you a nonfiction piece featuring reality, real-life occurrences, shocking irregularities and unbelievable outcomes.

This week’s read is spiced, peppered, diced, neatly prepared and served with a high sense of aesthetics.

Our book review for the week is Adewale Maja Pearce’s The House My Father Built. Would you like to know how it turned out on our grill? Come along, and let’s share our experience with you.

The Story

The House My Father Built is a memoir. The author relates his experience taking possession of the house he inherited from his late father. He talked about how each tenant brought pain and sorrow to his life and the reality for many landlords/ homeowners who have rented out their apartment.

Adewale first introduces Alhaji, a tenant who even prided himself as the landlord and did whatever he wanted with the property. His mischief, selfishness and how a quit notice of six months turned out to be a journey to and from a court of over four years. Adewale revealed many of the errors he made in the course of his battle for repossessing his property something which can aptly be described as an eye-opener to the experiences of many landlords today.

You would think Adewale was done, but he was only at number one, he had a total four occupants to quit before he could repossess his father’s property which now belonged to him and his siblings.

Then there was Prince, the one Adewale trusted to help him evacuate the uncooperative tenants that almost became his doom.

We’ll let you find out if he was able to get rid of those unwanted tenants.

Settings, Language and Style

Set in Lagos with brief references to events in other parts of Nigeria, the author served us his story in batches, in the right proportion and without muddling up the different roles of the various individuals featured. He was organized and educative.

 He introduced his characters in an orderly fashion. He gave us time to feast on one individual, digest his actions and attitudes, learn from the mistakes he (Adewale) made with that one tenant before moving on to another character.

He delved subtly into the politics around the time of his compiling his memoir without deviating unnecessarily from his main gist. Much like adding the right amount of spices: garlic, ginger, curry, thyme, and pepper to grilled chicken making it crispy and slightly peppery. You can’t stop at one. That’s exactly how we felt as we read. We wanted to see how it turned out with the other tenants.


We thought the author added too many unnecessary details, that at some point we got bored. It’s nonfiction we agree, but you don’t have to tell everything, he should have let us use our imaginations too.

If this book were a song, it would be Roforofo Fight by Fela Anikulapo Kuti. For many of the fights and arguments are unnecessary and avoidable.

Chef’s verdict. 3.5  Stars

We declare this book delicious!

Was this book review helpful? Did it inspire you to want to read the book? Please tell us in the comments section.

August 27, 2020

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