Her extremely powerful stories— a short narrative of pertinent issues— is wholly riveting. While the outcome of each story in this book might be unpredictable, one cannot help but notice a certain conformity to reality therein.
In the first story of the collection, Omotayo Sangofadeji intensely builds up the reader’s captivation with a dynamic plot. “With Love, Zoey” is a story about the complexity of human relationships and how some hurts are so deep that even time refuses to heal them. The story is a reminiscence of the agony of heartbreak. The plot is unexpected, sometimes painful—sprinkled with challenges of mystery pulled by emotions and sealed off with a shocking twist that leaves readers with more burning questions than answers. Even a skeptic would be compelled to give in to the suspense evoked by the writer.
The title story "Her Eyes Tell Our Stories" is an enthralling sub-story recount of seven women, six of whom found themselves flung into a world that threatens their existence and shatters their expectations. Marooned amid danger and pain, these women experience violent emotions only a skillful writer like Omotayo can properly articulate. We the readers are left glued to the book as we experience the plight of these women and simultaneously bear the burden of taking a course of action to curb the named societal ills.
After reading the first two stories, one can expect nothing less than perfection as seen in the third story. The author details with eloquence a narrative from the point of view of ‘The Mistress’, until the reader walks in her shoes and feels where it pinches. A mesmerising stay-glued-to-your-book story, which features loss, obsession, scandal, self justification and the vehement machinations of survival.
In the fourth story, "No Extras", we understand the opposite of sad, the beauty in pain, the rainbow in turmoil. We see patience exemplified and the battle of self implosion. One thing remains certain, reading this grandeur tale and internalizing the characters perplexity leads to a mental shift— humaneness for others.
The collection ends with the story of an uncanny relationship between two people. While this narrative is difficult to understand because it is sacred and forbidden according to societal and moral standards, one thing stands for sure: that which is not naturally accepted is so strong that ‘In Life and Death’, it cannot be stopped.
Overall, Her Eyes Tell Our Stories touches on the need for change. This book completely drags you in, explores some very dark themes and makes you understand the characters painted in an intimate fashion. Each story paints vivid pictures in your mind and often makes you empathize with the protagonist. The author weaves an in-depth tale of various aspects of society and belief systems often overlooked in popular dialogues. This debut fiction is a must read and Omotayo Sangofadeji has set a trailblazer for herself as an author.
Reviewer: Ayoola Oluwasina
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