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The Concubine
Title : The Concubine
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780435905569
Language : English
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 216

Ihuoma, a beautiful young widow, has the admiration of the entire community in which she lives, and especially of the hunter Ekwueme. But their passion is fated and jealousy, a love potion and the closeness of the spirit world are important factors.

The Concubine Reviews

  • Beth

    I really enjoyed this book. I very much liked the two major characters and SO wanted them to be happy! For me, this book is a glimpse into a culture that is not familiar and I enjoyed that as well. The humor of the book is, however, universal--as is the tragedy. At the end, I couldn't help thinking about human beings' relationships with our deities. Gods get to do what they want precisely because they are gods. If we don't forgive them for what they do (as if they care), we must, at least, accep [...]

  • Jerome Kuseh

    One of my favourite books. This book is a masterpiece. Though I read it too long ago to write a proper review, I can remember enjoying this tragic tale of a woman who's married in the spiritual realm, thus any man who marries her is doomed to ruin from the vengeance of her spiritual husband.Highly recommended.

  • Esther Neema Mumo

    A book that took my attention all the way to the end. It was amazing. It introduced me to loving African literature. I loooooooved it :)

  • Nnedi

    I really enjoyed this. The plot meanders and so does the point of view. But that's the beauty of it. It's a nice slice-of-precolonial-Igbo-life story. It's frank (example, it's normal for men to beat their wives and this is spoken of without judgementof course, I judged anyway. Puh-lease), yet loving (you can tell that the author is proud of his culture, bumps, scars and all). It's refreshing to not see any Europeans sneak in to disrupt things, haha. And it's a really interesting read when you c [...]

  • Dora Okeyo

    "Would you agree to be a concubine instead of someone's wife?"That's the question that if turned around- Ekwe refused to accept- he loved Ihuoma and would rather marry her than simply have her as his concubine regardless of the fact that she already belongs to a Sea King.I wanted to read this book because of one thing: It's a production of the African Writers Series.I loved the narration and how events unfold slowly all the way to the end where you understand why Ihuoma's male admirers die very [...]

  • Lisa

    I read this fascinating novel for the Africa Reading Challenge hosted by Kinna Reads: Elechi Amadi is a notable Nigerian author who writes in English. The Concubine (1966) is one of his five novels, the others being The Great Ponds, The Slave, Isiburu and Estrangement.According to Wikpedia, ‘Amadi’s novels are generally about African village life, customs, beliefs and religious practices, as they were before contact with the Western world’ and this is certainly true of The Concubine. There [...]

  • Nathan


  • Nick Dasher

    The Concubine is a simple story, and yet somehow spellbinding. Amadi has a rare talent for building up his characters through realistic, naturally flowing conversations and has a sense of how people react to different situations. He is clearly proud of his culture and wants to tell the reader about it, but refrains from lavishing extended explanations of African life and society that too many novels force on the reader. Rather, Amadi focuses on telling his story purely and directly, and the insi [...]

  • Mary


  • Bajen

    This was weird in the end. I hate the ending. Great writing though. The end though determined rating I gave it . Urgh

  • Yewande Akeredolu

    I looked for this book for almost two years and I was excited to finally get it. Good book, but there was just something I did not quite like - the ending, maybe.

  • Jonathan Goddard

    This is a beautifully written and engaging story with interesting characters. The action takes place in a pre-colonial West African village.A popular young man, Emenike, is wounded in a fight with another wrestler, Madume, leaving his young beautiful wife Ihuoma alone with their three children. Another young man, Ekwueme, gradually falls in love with Ihuoma, but he is already betrothed to another girl from childhood.Ekwueme's passion for Ihuoma, and the conflict between their love and the tradit [...]

  • N. Jr.

    This by far my favorite book by an African writer, and though I have read nearly 100 African novels, this is the only one that I have reread - 3 times!Elechi Amadi has written many good books but this one is his masterpiece. It is lyrical, written with a profound sense of understatement that reflects the simple life of pre-colonial Africa. The simplicity of the narrative makes it all the more powerful, and a sense of tragedy grows as the reader draws inexorably closer to the end. A haunting tale [...]

  • Chioma Bethel

    This was my first adult novel, i read it at age 8 and it was the text for my senior secondary school exams. i am still as enthralled as i was by the ill-fated love between Ihuhoma and Ekwueme. i read the book so many times that it fell apart. For me, it was a book set in the traditional village community untouched by colonization and its adverse effects. i recall with nostalgia the little boy whose favorite past time was to hunt lizards. i do not have a copy now but i hope to get one soon as it [...]

  • Timendu

    My husband loves this book. Ithink it's okay. I read it a long time ago though so who knows what a another reading will do to my opinion.A book about a young woman with man trouble of the traditional, spiritual kind is a story not uncommon in these parts and has made many a spiritual man whether pastor, prophet or village priest wealthy. However, it is masterfully told and carries you along completely.

  • Ifeoma

    An Amazing African literature set in the eastern part of Nigeria before the colonial era. It shows the unity in the igbo people and how highly they revered their gods. I love the fluidity of the story, i couldn't drop the book when i started. No european values to disturb the age old Eastern Nigerian ways. Originality.

  • Sheena

    It's a beautifully told story Tells the going-ons of a Nigerian village well (at least I Can relate to the some of the African traditions they practice)

  • Kihara Kimachia


  • Lunga

    One of the most amazing books I have read in a while. It ended too soon.

  • Vanessa

    excellent book can't get enough off it !!!

  • Dennis

    One of the best African books you will read

  • Simon Gisore

    What happened to the African spirit?

  • Curry

    Awesome book!! I was locked in from the beginning until the end.

  • James Njoroge

    Aaaa!!! Ekwueme. Quite a roller coaster. I salute Elechi

  • Shuvro Das

    This is a scintillating tale of love and yearning for love and getting heartbroken, not once but many times. Ihuouma is ill fated and loses her husband prematurely. Mother of three, she is known for her beauty, character and resilience throughout her whole community. Everyone seems to find her praiseworthy due to all these traits, but little is known to them about the loneliness she has to fight constanly, each and every moment. After the hardships of her widowhood, she finds her true love in ,E [...]

  • Susan

    A beautiful glimpse of a vanished life in an East Nigerian village, this brief novel respectfully describes the characters’ close-knit relationships and deeply held beliefs which hold together the fabric of their lives. If you can navigate the names, you are rewarded by complex characters, drawn with no twinge of colonial perspective.

  • Enobong Essien

    this book was such a roller coaster of emotions. beautiful imagery captured in words, and no spoilers, but the ending caught me waaaayy off guard. it's a great read!

  • Don

    Exquisitely simple tale of life in a cluster of villages in what is now eastern Nigeria in an age before colonialism.In ordered and largely peaceful society, Ihuoma, a woman of beauty and dignity is widowed after the death of her husband in a skirmish with a rival. Others line up as suitors with Madune, the man responsible for her husband's death, and the love-lorn Ekewueme, being foremost. Ihuoma holds them at bay, wishing only to raise her children and tend to the farm of their father.Passiona [...]

  • Gift Nasilele

    I thot of been the best in all the wolrd in reading stories.

  • V. NaaTakia

    Ihuoma is a young woman whose beauty, intelligence, and upright character earned her the respect and admiration of both young and old. Ihuoma loses her husband Emenike to a supposed “lock chest”.But even after his death, she continues her devotion to Emenike by staying in her late husband’s compound taking care of their three children.Ekwueme, a young trapper in the village takes a liking to her. But what is to become of him, as she is later to be discovered as the wife of a terribly jealo [...]