WINNER OF THE COSTA FIRST NOVEL AWARD. 'Everything changed after Mama found Father lying on top of another woman.' Blessing and her brother Ezikiel adore their larger-than-life father, their glamorous mother and their comfortable life in Lagos. But all that changes when their father leaves them for another woman. Their mother is fired from her job at the Royal Imperial Hotel - only married women can work there - and soon they have to quit their air-conditioned apartment to go and live with their grandparents in a compound in the Niger Delta. Adapting to life with a poor countryside family is a shock beyond measure after their privileged upbringing in Lagos. Told in Blessing's own beguiling voice, Tiny Sunbirds Far Away shows how some families can survive almost anything. At times hilarious, always poignant, occasionally tragic, it is peopled with characters you will never forget.
'A fascinating, poignant story that had me laughing in places and deeply moved in others' Ike Anya. Ike Anya 'An excellent novel. It takes the reader deep into the reality of ordinary life in Nigeria and is also funny, moving and politically alert' Giles Foden, author of The Last King of Scotland. Giles Foden 'The gripping, triumphant tale of a girl who chooses life over loss, in a sweet but savage world where oil is bled from the earth' Lola Shoneyin, author of The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives. Lola Shoneyin 'does what fiction does best, it captures place and characters so well that you feel you are there. It is sincere, it is powerfully written, and it deserves to be read' Helon Habila, author of Oil on Water. Helon Habila 'Watson's nuanced portrayal of daily life in Nigeria is peopled with flawed but tenacious characters who fight not only for survival but for dignity. Blessing is a wonderful narrator whose vivid impressions enliven Watson's sensual prose' Publishers Weekly. Publishers Weekly So good I had to lie down after reading it' Trezza Azzopardi. Trezza Azzopardi An immensely absorbing novel. It is both heart-wrenching and consoling' Chika Unigwe, author of On Black Sisters' Street. Chika Unigwe Readability and literary merit go hand in hand in this vibrant gem of a novel' The Costa Judges. Costa Judges Skilfully treading the fine line between gritty hardship and homespun warmth ... Christie Watson's affecting but unsentimental debut earns its place in the sun' Independent. Independent A must-read. Lyrical and beautifully drawn, a poignant coming of age tale, set in an Africa few readers will have experienced' Lesley Lokko. Lesley Lokko Funny, tragic and moving all in the right places' Pride. Pride Absorbing and passionate' Guardian. Guardian heart-warming' Telegraph. Telegraph