When Fitzgerald's father is killed by a lorry on his way home
from the timber yard, his life changes forever.
His father of Nigerian English and Irish parentage had three distinctive
things about him. He wore grey baggy clothes that made him look bigger
than he was, he chewed tobacco and he had 'hands that were so big and
firm that people would sometimes say that they were not hands at all
but oars; huge wooden oars.'
As Fitzgerald tries to decide, with the help of his 'nearest and dearest',
where to inter his father's ashes, he finds himself struggling to understand
who his father was.
Never alone on his journey, Fitzgerald has help from
a toothless, boiled-sweet-eating bag-lady (who could be an angel); his
ghost hunting uncle; the spirit of his dead father; and a chorus of extraordinary
neighbours, teachers, relations and an unbroken piece of wood.
Setting off to take his father 'home' Fitzgerald doesn't
realise that he will find the answer that finally lays his father to
rest on his return.
Fitzgerald's Wood is a heart-warming
story of identity, ancestral memory and a man's place in the world and
for those of us who can't cook it but love it there's a great recipe
for Jollof Rice.
Wood is David
Nwokedi's first novel. The son of Nigerian and English parents himself
David's insight into the high's and lows of living with parents of
different origins shine through. Fitzgerald's
wood is out now and can
be found in most books stores.