In Aakonu, a small village on the coast of Ghana, life is a constant tussle between the reality of the mundane and the superstitions presided over by the local priestess. In this setup, girls in their puberty can only look forward to marriage—often to men old enough to be their fathers and already with other wives. Ahu, a young widow of eighteen, has no choice but to marry an older relative. What she does will change girls in her lineage forever. Through these beautifully told, lyrical stories about herself, her daughter Bomo, the beautiful but tragic Ebela, and the childless Aso, and others, Ahu introduces us to her community, and the beliefs and customs that keep its families together but in the end also stifles its girls futures.
Elizabeth Allua Vaah hails from Bakanta, a village on the western coast of Ghana. She was the first in her family to attend high school, and one of the first few girls in her village to go to university. Maame is her first work of fiction. Allua is an advocate for better maternal health through her foundation, the Vaah Junior Foundation, and a strong advocate for girl's education, always using her own life story as an example. She works as a risk manager in a major bank and lives in Greater Toronto.