I think we all can agree that we judge books by their covers. If the cover does not catch your attention then you are less likely to book buy the book. I will be honest and say that when I first saw the book covers for Wyatt Bryson’s novels, Sankofa and Onyx and Eggshell, the idea of buying the books was miles away from my mind. It wasn’t until I actually read the synopses of the novels and learned the meaning behind the titles that I wanted to actually read the books.
The first book I bought was Onyx and Eggshell because it was focused on five girls pledging a sorority (Gamma Beta Alpha). As a member of Sigma Gamma Rho, my interest in this book was almost automatic. I haven’t read a lot of books which focus on Greek life so I definitely couldn’t wait to start this one. (Sidebar- the sorority’s official colors are onyx and eggshell hence the title of the book)
To begin, Onyx and Eggshell centers itself around five main characters, Sabina, Akia, Tammy, Luci and Chilli who attend Freedom College. The first thing I instantly loved about the characters was the fact that they were all noticeably different and every character had something that made you feel connected to them. As much as I would love to go into grave detail about each character, I won’t, because I don’t want to give away anything. There are a lot of things that come out in the novel about each of these characters, but giving away the goods is not my style. I will say this, though- out of the five characters, my favorite was Chilli. Despite her obstacles, Chilli always had sort of a calm demeanor about herself. It seemed as if certain things never got to her. I honestly felt that her name fit her to the T. However, towards the end of the book…things took a turn. Yep, a big surprise in the plot!
Although this book was about pledging, do not expect to read a story about five girls being hazed. Expect to receive more of a history lesson on Gamma Beta Alpha and how the organization embodies African traditions. It’s obvious that Mr. Bryson did his research with the amount of references to African culture that is in the book. As the characters receive their history lesson, please believe that you will be getting yours as well!
In the end, the point that I really want to make is this. Although we judge books by their covers, we really shouldn’t. Onyx and Eggshell is an example of that. I would definitely be missing out on a great story if I had let the cover discourage me from buying the book. I highly suggest that you look pass the cover and head directly to the pages!
Rating: ***** (Literary Classic)