BRITTLEPAPER.COM REVIEW – BEDFELLOWS BY OBINNA UDENWE

Im reading this for the weekend..

“Bedfellows,” a short story by Obinna Udenwe, tells a fascinating tale about a woman named Agnes whose unfaithfulness leads to the break-up of her marriage. After her husband leaves for Tanzania on a volunteer mission, Agnes begins an affair with a doctor.

Agnes’ son who witnesses the illicit affair is also the narrator of the story. A striking aspect of the story is that it leaves the reader with a deep sense of resentment towards the narrator. The initial feeling of the reader is that the story is told by a helpless child. It is not until the part where he describes his first meeting with his mother’s lover that one pauses to assimilate the information and realizes that he is not a child after all. The enormity of this revelation changes the reader’s judgement towards the end. The story presents the situation where a grown man stands by and watches another man defile his father’s marital bed.

There are moments when the narrator should have done something to stop the affair. Dr. Adams should not have been allowed to sleep with the mother repeatedly in the family house. During telephone conversations with his father, he hides the relationship, indirectly aligning with his mother to perfect her deceit. Instead of confronting her and telling his father, he finds solace in the retribution of the gods. In his insular way he forgets that the gods expect him to protect his father’s interest. The height of his impotence is the part where he learns of his mother’s pregnancy. He exhibit his usual child-like character, retreat to the room and lock the door. Again, like a child he throws tantrums in his room by dumping his food in the trash, sleeping on the floor, ‘got mad’ with himself and wondered’ if he ‘were a coward’. His inaction at this point emboldens Dr Adams to assume rights in his father’s house.

Review by Udo Okoronkwo-Chukwu

– See more at: http://brittlepaper.com

Bedfellows,” a short story by Obinna Udenwe, tells a fascinating tale about a woman named Agnes whose unfaithfulness leads to the break-up of her marriage. After her husband leaves for Tanzania on a volunteer mission, Agnes begins an affair with a doctor.
Agnes’ son who witnesses the illicit affair is also the narrator of the story. A striking aspect of the story is that it leaves the reader with a deep sense of resentment towards the narrator. The initial feeling of the reader is that the story is told by a helpless child. It is not until the part where he describes his first meeting with his mother’s lover that one pauses to assimilate the information and realizes that he is not a child after all. The enormity of this revelation changes the reader’s judgement towards the end. The story presents the situation where a grown man stands by and watches another man defile his father’s marital bed.
There are moments when the narrator should have done something to stop the affair. Dr. Adams should not have been allowed to sleep with the mother repeatedly in the family house. During telephone conversations with his father, he hides the relationship, indirectly aligning with his mother to perfect her deceit. Instead of confronting her and telling his father, he finds solace in the retribution of the gods. In his insular way he forgets that the gods expect him to protect his father’s interest. The height of his impotence is the part where he learns of his mother’s pregnancy. He exhibit his usual child-like character, retreat to the room and lock the door. Again, like a child he throws tantrums in his room by dumping his food in the trash, sleeping on the floor, ‘got mad’ with himself and wondered’ if he ‘were a coward’. His inaction at this point emboldens Dr Adams to assume rights in his father’s house.
– See more at: http://brittlepaper.com/2016/01/review-bedfellows-short-story-obinna-udenwe-udo-okoronkwochukwu#sthash.k6l8eww1.dpuf
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