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Reviewed by Nandita Keshavan for Readers' Favorite
Beyond the Trial by Chigozie Anuli Mbadugha is a book of three stories which depict the discrimination and injustices which occur against women in Nigerian families. The stories are developed in everyday language, and describe the trials that the women go through, and the difficulties that they overcome. The first story tells of the consequences of a young girl's unwanted pregnancy, how she overcame alienation from her family and the baby's father with the help of a special mentor, and an interesting development which had life-changing effects for her and her son.
The second story tells of a wife who suffers the loss of her husband and how she copes with her step-siblings' greed for her late husband's possessions. An unexpected development helps her to fund her children's education. The third story tells of a girl whose mother lived through an abusive marriage and the effect that her late father had on her siblings and their marriages. She intervenes to set right allegations against her mother, and to show her siblings how their behaviour is affecting their marriages.
There is a strong theme of the importance of using one's mind to see positively, despite difficulties. Also, the characters rely on their close friends or mentors, and on prayer. The momentum of the stories is natural but gripping and in it the main female characters achieve closure by their own courage in facing past tribulations. The style is refreshing and direct, and certainly the book is a useful motivator to people who need courage to face their troubles.