Changes: A Love Story

Changes A Love Story Confronted with the difficulty of finding love and companionship on acceptable terms Esi meets Ali and falls in love but she must decide if she is willing to make the changes necessary for a relatio

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  • Title: Changes: A Love Story
  • Author: Ama Ata Aidoo
  • ISBN: 9780435910143
  • Page: 456
  • Format: Paperback
  • Confronted with the difficulty of finding love and companionship on acceptable terms, Esi meets Ali and falls in love, but she must decide if she is willing to make the changes necessary for a relationship This is a story about Esi, an independent woman who leaves her husband, Oko, because he intrudes on her time and personal space.

    One thought on “Changes: A Love Story”

    1. This is an interesting novella from a Ghanaian feminist author. I made the mistake of taking the subtitle (“A Love Story”) seriously, and so wasn’t prepared for the heavy material it actually contains – professional women struggling to find contentment in a society that retains traditional, conservative expectations about women’s roles. To the point that, within the first 15 pages, the protagonist is raped by her husband, then reflects that the concept of marital rape doesn’t exist i [...]

    2. This is my first exposure to Aidoo, who is better known for her drama than for her fiction. "Changes" is a compact and mature look at a woman's inability to find satisfactory companionship and love in modern day Accra, Ghana. The insights into polygamy from both the female and the male perspective were fascinating and the passages showcasing marriage negotiations and traditions were a definite highlight. The writing itself is fairly spare and unremarkable, earning perhaps a mental grin now and t [...]

    3. I quite enjoyed this 1991 offering by an author whose works I have been meaning to read for a long time. It is a love story that illustrates the tensions for women who don't want to be confined by static, "traditional" feminine roles.In the Afterward by Tuzyline Jita Allan, she quotes Ama Ata Aidoo from an article Aidoo wrote for Dissent: "When people ask me rather bluntly every now and then whether I am a feminist, I not only answer yes, but I go on to insist that every woman and every man shou [...]

    4. Ghanian women and Modernity: Independence?Modern Ghanaian women suffer daily sacrifices, lifelong barriers to their advancement, and an emerging modernity which has multiplied their duties but not simplified their lives. Changes focuses on a three year period in the lives of Esi Sekyi, Opokuya Dakwa, and Fusena Kondey, three women approaching their mid thirties in Accra, Ghana.In Changes we can see the evidence of a complex struggle in the name of modernity between African women and society, fam [...]

    5. I gave this book a 4.5 stars.I found that this novel was a lesson in love for me. Aidoo presents us with the story of Esi, a Ghanain woman who has been thoroughly educated about the world but, not about love. Esi's character reads like a modern soap opera about a woman who has grown tired of her neat marriage and has started to crave adventure even though Esi herself labels this longing as a desire to not be under the thumb of any man especially, her husband, Oko, who she sees as a mama's boy wh [...]

    6. The Power of EducationAll of the major characters in the novel are well-educated. Their education is not only the mark of their place in society but also an ironic and elusive symbol that signifies both change and stasis at the same time. The two primary lovers in the novel, Esi and Ali, are also the most highly educated. Esi holds a master’s degree, and Ali has studied in France and England. Upon hearing of Ali’s second marriage, the first question that his wife, Fusena, asks him is whether [...]

    7. I was expecting more from this book. I found the writing ordinary and the character development lacking. In fact, I did not like a single character in this story. I think I might have liked Fusena had we gotten to know her better but I found both Ali and Esi rather self-absorbed. Esi's parenting skills left much to be desired as well. The topic was interesting though, and expertly handled by Ama Ata Aidoo.

    8. This short novel about a Ghanian woman is a rather a diffusely told story. The narrative hops around to focus on different characters' backgrounds, but certainly Esi is the main character. Ostensibly about Esi's (view spoiler)[relationship with the men in her life, Oko and Ali, the real relationship is between Esi and her girlhood friend Opukuya. It is this relationship that, when tested, is capable of transformation to fit the needs of the two women as they grow. Repeatedly, in the various scen [...]

    9. This is a book about a confused woman. She, like some modern women confuses her feelings with the feminist struggle and gets burned really bad for her poor choices in the end. She discovers rather too late that love is all fulfilling and that a feeling of unfulfillment and dissatisfaction in a rather good relationship usually means that your love has grown cold or is dead! It made an interesting read and lead me on a journey of self discovery. I had read this book about 14 years ago and even got [...]

    10. Very good book. Stirring at times. Aidoo is a good story teller who gives good insight into the complexity of modern African women and men. The non-African reader can learn much about changes wrought in post-colonial Ghana and by extension post-colonial Africa. This book should be read in tandem with Emecheta's The Joys of Motherhood. Changes deserves a close and thoughtful reading and re-reading.

    11. Like a chilled beer served on a hot afternoon, I gulped it fast. I read it at a go and did not put it down until I had sucked the author's words dry. My first encounter with Ama Ata Aidoo and she completely held me hostage. This book left me with so many thoughts, thoughts that I am yet to organize, internalize and make sense of chiefly on account that her words and points of view were so relatable. Writing about the love that eludes us the most, the only love, other than agape, that can soothe [...]

    12. At first i thought it was going to be a love story that brought changes to it but nada! The book focuses on 3 women Esi, Opokuya and Fusena and their spouses Oko, Kubi and Ali respectively. Esi is a career oriented woman who has no time for her hubby nor her daughter. Due to her busy schedule she hates been married, been a wife where a woman submits and the only way out is when Oko "rapes"her that she files for a divorce. Freedom, maybe! She falls in love with Ali who on the other hand doesn't v [...]

    13. I read this book as a part of my "around the world" challenge. I had never read anything from Ghana before. In many ways this novel is an ideal book for my challenge - it has a premise that would be impossible in my country. The main object of my challenge is to broaden my reading habits and learn more about different cultures.All the other descriptions of polygamy I have read are from cultures where the women have no say in the matter. It was fascinating to read about a culture where an indepen [...]

    14. A deceptively easy read, Changes is not just a love story but an insightful commentary on feminism and African identity. Very plot-driven and I was surprised at every turn. Esi was never fully defined, but I think readers could always relate to her plight and the fact that she saw options for a better life where others were blind. She loved her job and her daughter, and had a vague desire for freedom from the constraints of a traditional woman's/wife's role, but you can't fault her for not being [...]

    15. A beautiful and poignant story about a modern African woman who questions herself about mariage and her lovelife in general. Her friends and family don't agree and don't understand her choices but she sticks to them anyway. I really liked the protagonist's independance and feminist point of view even if she makes a suprising choice because she is blinded by love or maybe lust.

    16. How much happiness is a woman allowed to pursue? If a woman's happiness is selfish, is she still allowed to pursue it? These are some of the fundamental questions Changes asks. A must read for anyone interested in postcolonial literature.

    17. I sometimes found the book quite hard to follow, but I enjoyed the story. The first Muslim literature I have read, and it was interesting to learn some things - I would have liked the issue of marital rape to have been talked about in more depth though, as I felt it was very brushed over.

    18. SO MANY beautiful sentences in this one! A story about the compromises we make for love, and the happiness we compromise when we make them.

    19. This book got me to reflect on how traditional values are really hard to break away from. I think Esi especially struggled with this.

    20. A few months ago, I watched Ama Ata Aidoo discuss 'Changes' in an interview on one of the TV stations in Ghana. I knew, then, that I had to get the book and discover the two ladies that had become the main subject of that interview; the nucleus to which all of the social issues treated in the book were attached. Esi and Opokuya are friends, maybe sisters, as we've come to accept this term for relationships that go beyond simple friendship. This is what Esi and Opokuya had, right down to the mome [...]

    21. Novel on the difficult position of 'modern women' in Africa. And a long needed call for more feminism! I really enjoyed reading this book.

    22. Changes is a nuanced expression of the struggle of marriage in 1990s Ghana. Esi is not happy in her marriage with Oko and Aidoo traces Esi's romantic experiences through that marriage and onto another polygamous one with Ali and his first wife, Fusena. Changes describes the ways in which Esi struggles to both achieve her professional goals and find happiness in a marriage. Her relationship with Okopuya becomes central to the telling of this story, as the novel creates a female bond that is utili [...]

    23. It’s just a coincidence that I happened to re-read Germaine Greer’s The Female Eunuch this week while also reading Changes, but it certainly impacted on my reading of the novel. Aidoo’s short book explores the journey of a modern, educated Ghanian woman as she tries to reconcile the demands of love with her own sense of self-respect. It’s a journey many women took back in the 1970s when books like Greer’s provoked a reassessment of the idea that if you were a woman in love, you must gi [...]

    24. No dogmatism in the way Esi is presented here: A portrait of a young modern woman in the heart of Ghana. Independent, slightly rebellious and passionate about her work who divorces her husband because he takes too much of her time and space. Something totally unheard of. Just to fall in love with Ali, who is already married and wants to take her as his second wife. Interesting take on this one, as polygamy is something not forced but taken upon willingly.There are many women who seek what would [...]

    25. Changes by Ama Ata Aidoo (1991) is about a Ghanian woman searching for her place in a modern world that is steeped in traditional culture. Esi has an advanced degree and she loves her job, but cannot find satisfaction in her marriage, due to her demanding and overly pushy husband. While she loves her young daughter, she resents the fact that she is expected to care for her as well as working and taking care of the house and being there for her husband. She resents her husband and her expected ro [...]

    26. This had more of a plot than most of the African fiction I've read so far, but it moved pretty slowly for me. Basically the story is this: Esi, a high-earning statistician in Ghana, is having marital problems and the final straw is when her husband rapes her. She leaves him, falls in love with a Muslim guy named Ali, and becomes his mistress. Eventually Ali takes Esi as his second wife, but their relationship doesn't change -- he still only visits once in awhile before going "home" to his first [...]

    27. I loved - loved this book - when I first read it. I found (and bought) my copy in a second-hand bookstore; it's one of those books I didn't know existed, but was glad to find. I'm not the biggest fan of Our Sister Killjoy, also by Ama Ata Aidoo - in fact, I think this book, 'Changes' - with its independent, ambitious and sensitive lead character, Esi Sekyi - is Aidoo's masterpiece. Once again, you can see her influence on Adichie - writing this book, makes me want to re-read changes allover agai [...]

    28. The book was written to show the changes in African women since colonialism officially ended. My perspective is that the changes have not improved the situation women face. The main character, Esi, is completely unsympathetic. In order to advance her career, she divorces her first husband and neglects her only child. She allows her in-laws to keep her daughter because it suits her. She can have an affair and work late without worrying about the welfare of her child. She becomes the second wife o [...]

    29. As a reader, I thought this book was pretty interesting. The plot was fairly easy to grasp, and I liked several elements of the text. I thought at times, there was too much description and/or cultural context given. Some parts of the text were relatively boring to read due to the fact that there were long paragraphs that didn't give me anything in relation to the rest of the story. Overall, I do like the story that is told and the lesson being taught.As a teacher, I don't know if I would teach t [...]

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