By Marissa Wells
Morayo De Silva, a senior cosmopolitan Nigerian woman, is in good health and makes the most of her life living in San Francisco, enjoying road trips, conversing with strangers and recollecting characters from her favorite novels.
After a fall, her independence crumbles, leaving her to rely on friends and chance encounters for support. In “Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun,” author Sarah Ladipo Manyika offers a story about aging, friendship and loss.
“Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun” was inspired by many of the older women Manyika has encountered in her life.
“I’ve met many older women who have lived colorful lives, and yet, when it comes to fiction, I don’t find many stories that mirror this, especially so when it comes to the lives of black women,” Manyika said.
The book introduces readers to characters of different social and cultural backgrounds and will no doubt allow readers to expand their understanding of others.
“One of the reasons why I love to read and I think one of the reasons why other people love to read is to be able to expand our understanding of humanity and to expand our horizons,” Manyika said.
Manyika feels invested in all of the characters but if she had to pick a favorite it would be Morayo. The main challenges that protagonist Morayo faces are the physical and mental limitations that come with growing older.
“Morayo works hard to stay optimistic through the challenges that life brings. In the same way that she enjoys changing the endings of some of her favorite books, she also tries to embrace narratives that help move her forward rather than getting her stuck or depressed,” the author said. “I’ve written a character to inspire me and also, hopefully, my readers too.”
It is Manyika’s hope that readers not only enjoy the story but that it “gets readers to think and ponder life and not to be fearful of the ‘other.’”
In addition to being an author, Manyika is an educator, mentor, and mother. She lives in San Francisco. To learn more about the author and her work, visit sarahladipomanyika.com.
“Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun” is available for $14.95 in bookstores and online bookstores like Amazon and more.
This article originally appeared in the Wave Newspapers.