NDG Book Review: ‘Someday, Maybe: A Novel’ looks at family bereavement
By Terri Schlichenmeyer
Not now, but probably later…if at all. The thing is, you’re patient and you can wait. It will happen eventually, one way or another, and you are okay with things as they are in the meantime. You’re good. Whatever you hope for is possible – except when, like in Onyi Nwabineli’s new novel “Someday, Maybe,” life has other plans.
She prayed he hadn’t read the latest text messages she had sent on his phone.
Eve Ezenwa-Morrow was angry with her husband, Quentin. She had sent him a flurry of “where are you?” messages that escalated until she went to his photography studio to tell him what she was thinking – and she found him lying in a pool of blood, dead.
This, clearly, was wrong. Young husbands are not supposed to kill themselves. They don’t let their wife manage, wonder why, go on living, take care of her mother who blames the wife. Who always blamed the woman for everything.
Thank God Eve’s parents were doctors; they sedated her and watched over her. Thank goodness her sister, Gloria, was a lawyer who cared for her as Eve lay in bed, unable to do anything but sleep and cry. Thank goodness her younger brother, Nate, didn’t leave her alone – even though alone was what she really wanted.
Alone from her persistent Nigerian family, alone from her goofy bosses at work, her best friend, and above all, she wanted Aspen to stop calling.
Eve had nothing to say to her husband’s mother; Aspen would never have listened anyway. She was more focused on driving a wedge between Eve and Q that never quite stuck.
Why didn’t Eve see that Q was upset if, indeed, that was why he killed himself?
Why didn’t he say anything, email her, try to talk to her about it, something? He didn’t even leave a note. No, instead he left her something else that she wasn’t even sure she really wanted…
If “Someday, Maybe” was alive, you’d be forced to pick it up, hold it against your shoulder, and pat it until it hiccupped. You whispered comforting things.
This book hurts in a way familiar to anyone who has tragically lost a loved one.
That feeling of bawling until you can’t breathe is the focus of this book; in fact, it’s big and overwhelming and almost a character unto itself. And yet, author Onyi Nwabineli portrays grief so well that there is humor in this tale, in those completely inappropriate moments of laughter that sometimes occur, making strangers think the bereaved has lost their minds. . These top-down emotions – humor that isn’t out of place, screaming pain and hope – are wrapped up in family drama that you shouldn’t even try to resist.
Readers shouldn’t expect wet tears forever, but if you’re heartbroken, this book may be too much to bear right now. If you’re good at it, though, you’ll find that “One day maybe” is too. Will you like it?
Yeah, it’s quite possible.