Pride and Joy: A Novel (Hardcover)

Pride and Joy: A Novel By Louisa Onomé Cover Image

Pride and Joy: A Novel (Hardcover)


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Black Cake meets Death at a Funeral in this heartwarming and hilarious novel about three generations of a Nigerian Canadian family grappling with their matriarch’s sudden passing while their auntie insists that her sister is coming back—from an author with a “razor-sharp, smart, and tender” (Nafiza Azad, author of The Wild Ones) voice.

Joy Okafor is overwhelmed. Recently divorced, a life coach whose phone won’t stop ringing, and ever the dutiful Nigerian daughter, Joy has planned every aspect of her mother’s seventieth birthday weekend on her own.

As the Okafors slowly begin to arrive, Mama Mary goes to take a nap. But when the grandkids go to wake her, they find that she isn’t sleeping after all. Refusing to believe that her sister is gone-gone, Auntie Nancy declares that she has had a premonition that Mama Mary will rise again like Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday.

Desperate to believe that they’re about to witness a miracle, the family overhauls their birthday plans to welcome the Nigerian Canadian community, effectively spreading the word that Mama Mary is coming back. But skeptical Joy is struggling with the loss of her mother and not allowing herself to mourn just yet while going through the motions of planning a funeral that her aunt refuses to allow.

Filled with humor and flawed, deeply relatable characters that leap off the page, Pride and Joy will draw you in as the Okafors prepare for a miracle while coming apart at the seams, praying that they haven’t actually lost Mama Mary for good, and grappling with what losing her truly means for each of them.
Louisa Onomé is a Nigerian Canadian writer of books for teens and adults, including Like Home, Twice as Perfect, and Pride and Joy. She holds a BA in professional writing and a MA in counselling psychology. When she is not writing, she works as a narrative designer in games. She currently resides in the Toronto area. Find out more at
Product Details ISBN: 9781668012819
ISBN-10: 1668012812
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: March 12th, 2024
Pages: 336
Language: English
"In her adult debut, Onomé explores themes of family, grief, and belonging through a unique—yet instantly recognizable—family. [...] A refreshing combination of emotional insight and family comedy; ideal for fans of Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto and Someday, Maybe by Onyi Nwabineli."
Booklist (starred review)

"Onomé blends humor and pathos in her captivating adult debut. [...] Onomé’s rich storytelling is enhanced by authentic descriptions of traditional Nigerian music and foods, such as Egosi soup and chin chin, as her characters come together amid great loss. Readers will savor Onomé’s vibrant portrait of a family."
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Onomé has created a family so rich in heritage and complexity that I can’t believe these characters do not really exist. The love for Nigerian culture clearly shines through the page and I did not want this beautiful book to end.”
Jesse Q. Sutanto, national bestselling author of Dial A for Aunties

“An addictive family drama with bold characters and big laughs.”
Jane Igharo, acclaimed author of Where We End & Begin

“Louisa Onomé’s adult debut, Pride and Joy, is not your average grief story. ... This novel is for fans of dark, laugh-out-loud family dramas. Onomé’s flawed characters are wonderfully relatable and wildly entertaining. And the book’s themes of obligation and familial connection will captivate readers just as much as the mystery surrounding Nancy’s premonition, which sounds so genuine, one can’t help but wonder if it might just come true.”
BUST Magazine

"Onomé’s rich portrayal of Nigerian culture, foods, and traditions provides much-needed grounding, and her skillful handling of the difficulties first-generation children face as they straddle two or more cultures remains ever relevant."