A Worthy Legacy is Tomi Akinyami's tribute to her father's wisdom, written after he died in a car accident. Beginning as a family gathers in a Nigerian village to say their last goodbyes to the family patriarch, and ending with a journal entry written to to his granddaughter before his death, this is a sweet book, full of poetry. It shows the protagonist's love and respect for her grandfather and the impact he had on her world view, so clearly. In fact, I thought this was a true story until I read the author's notes, Behind the Book, on her website. I was a little taken aback to realize it was fictional.
At 101 pages, there's so much room for this book to expand on everything it has to offer. The opening sets the scene beautifully, and then the backdrop seems to just fade away. The woman's relationship with her grandfather is touching, but I longed for deeper characterization, of them and of the surrounding family members. I wanted more context for the grandfather's words.
So my questions for Tomi are:
Did you consider fleshing out the story to make it novel-length? And, what led to your decision to not to do so?
And my questions for my readers are: If you could choose what a loved ones last words to you would be (either past or present), who would it be and what would you wish for?
For me those coveted last words would be from my maternal grandma, who died several years ago after suffering from Alzheimer's disease. It doesn't much matter to me what her words would be--I just wish she'd been able to speak to us in the last years of her life. I would have cherished anything she had chosen to say.
I'll have a guest post by Tomi Akinyami on Monday, July 13. She'll be writing a post that perfectly complements my Striving for Greatness post from a few weeks ago. You may also visit the other blog tour stops for A Worthy Legacy.