"I read The Opposite House with rare happiness. The
voice in it is so sure, the risk it takes is so good and the
intelligence in it is a sheer relief."
-Ali Smith, author of The Accidental
Maja Carmen Carrerra was only five years old when her family
emigrated to London. Growing up, she speaks the Spanish of her
native land and the English of her adopted country, but longs for a
connection to her African roots. Now in her early twenties, Maja is
haunted by thoughts of Cuba and the desire to make sense of the
threads of her history. Maja''s mother has found comfort in
Santeria-a faith that melds Catholic saints and the Yoruba gods of
West African religion. Her involvement with Santeria, however,
divides the family as Maja''s father rails against his wife''s
superstitions and the lost dreams of the Castro revolution.
Maja''s narrative is one of two parallel voices in Oyeyemi''s
beautifully wrought novel. Yemaya Saramagua speaks from the other
side of the reality wall-in the Somewherehouse, which has two
doors, one opening to London, the other to Lagos. A Yoruban
goddess, Yemaya, is troubled by the ease with which her fellow gods
have disguised themselves as saints and reappeared under different
names and faces.
As Maja and Yemaya move closer to understanding themselves, they
realize that the journey to discovering where home truly lies is at
once painful and exhilarating.