Into the Go-Slow
In 1987 Detroit, twenty-one-year-old Angie passes time working in a mall and watching sitcoms with her mom. But beneath the surface, she is consumed by thoughts of her sister’s death years earlier in Nigeria. Ella had introduced Angie to Black Power and a vision of returning to Africa. On impulse, Angie travels to Lagos and begins to retrace Ella’s steps. Against a backdrop of the city’s infamous go-slow—traffic as wild and unpredictable as a Fela lyric—she uncovers some harsh truths. For anyone who has wished to be of a different era, this book captures the pain of living vicariously and the exhilaration of finding yourself.
Bridgett M. Davis has created a beautiful allegory at the heart of a realist novel—an allegory of love, family, expansion, hope, and transformation—all of it worked out compassionately and with integrity in the only country that offers both allegory and realism—Nigeria. A strong book.
Davis's novel asks the big questions reverberating through the African-American community in the wake of the 1980s: Who are we now? What is Africa to us? Homeland or fantasy? You'd think the magnitude of the subject matter would eclipse the story-telling, but you'd be wrong. Into the Go-Slow is a page turner, and never loses sight of its daring protagonist, a young woman on the cusp of adulthood, searching for the legacy of the sister she has lost to era of change.
At its core, Into the Go-Slow is a love story—romantic love, love of family, love of culture, love of self. This novel shows how we live when we dare to face our fear and lay bare our hurts. Angie is an unforgettable heroine who will steal your heart and break it, too. Bridgett M. Davis is a brilliant writer, a soulful artist, and a true citizen of the world.
Into the Go-Slow spans continents and years, and traces the lives of sisters linked by loss and discovery. Bridgett Davis vividly renders the troubled, idealistic 1970s and the what's-left-to-dream-about 1980s, offering a powerful narrative driven by the all-too-human bafflement about how to resolve what could have been with what is.
Into the Go-Slow is an exquisitely executed journey enriched by the depth and complexity of the characters, the detailed specificity of the varied communities of Nigeria, and, above all, the poignant rendering of the yearning heart of the one who was left behind. Just beautiful.