“The Spider King’s Daughter” is a modern-day Romeo and Juliet set against the backdrop of a changing Lagos, a city torn between tradition and modernity, corruption and truth, love and family loyalty.
Seventeen-year-old Abike Johnson is the favourite child of her wealthy father. She lives in a sprawling mansion in Lagos, protected by armed guards and ferried everywhere in a huge black jeep. But being her father’s favourite comes with uncomfortable duties, and she is often lonely behind the high walls of her house.
A world away from Abike’s mansion, in the city’s slums, lives a seventeen-year-old hawker struggling to make sense of the world. His family lost everything after his father’s death and now he runs after cars on the roadside selling ice cream to support his mother and sister. When Abike buys ice cream from the hawker one day, they strike up an unlikely and tentative romance, defying the prejudices of Nigerian society. But as they grow closer, revelations from the past threaten their relationship and both Abike and the hawker must decide where their loyalties lie.
Imachibundu Oluwadara Onuzo FRSL (born 1991) is a Nigerian novelist. Her first novel, The Spider King's Daughter, won a Betty Trask Award, was shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize and the Commonwealth Book Prize, and was longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize and the Etisalat Prize for Literature.