Inspired by true events, the story in A Worthy Legacy by Tomi Akinyanmi takes place in Nigeria. Upon receiving a grim call from her father, Tomi leaves her office in the city to return to her grandparents’ home in their village of Boluwaji. Her beloved grandpa is dying and it is time for the family to gather around his deathbed and say goodbye as is the custom with their tribe. Tomi is reminded of all the days and nights spent with her grandparents, the fact that she was fortunate enough to split her time evenly between city life and humble village life. She has always felt that she was her grandpa’s favorite grandchild (since she was the first girl) and as her mind wanders from story to story of her childhood, she makes the reader feel the connection between her and her grandfather.
A while after her arrival, her grandfather is brought into the common room on his mattress. He addresses his children and grandchildren with a speech on all of his wisdom. He speaks on everything from love to God, from fear to success. This lasts several minutes and then he expires.
The books jumps to one year later when the family is coming back together to remember the day their loved one passed. Tomi remembers the secret journal her grandpa and she wrote together, and goes into his room to find it. In the journal is her grandpa’s inheritance to his first granddaughter: all of his musings, thoughts, and epiphanies on the gift of life and how to use it to serve others.
Although the book did not have much of a plot, its purpose was to educate the world on serving others, living life to its fullest, being happy, finding true love, and not being too concerned with material things. Sprinkled throughout the grandfather’s speeches and writings were many poems that aided in the understanding of his deep ponderings. I found these to be helpful in their simplicity as well as thought provoking.
At first, I was a little bored with this book, but in writing the review and thinking of how utterly mind-blowing it would be if my own grandfather were to leave me a little book of all of his wisdom, I’m inspired. This book shouldn’t be read on a summer day at the beach as a mindless activity. This book should be read one chapter at a time. Every word should be mulled over no matter how obvious you might think it is and every sentence should be applied to life. The last section should especially be pondered as it is basically a recipe or a guide book on how to be remembered fondly after you have passed on. And not even to be simply remembered, but how to leave a legacy and how to become yourself fully so that you become not the person you admire, but a person to be admired.
Katie is a community college drop out who recently decided to go back now that she has finally found her calling: to be a social event planner. Katie and her fiance, Bart, will be getting married next summer so her days and nights are filled with budget talk, cake pictures, and card stock.