Uzodinma Iweala packs more meaning, heartbreak and provocation in 224 pages than most authors could ever hope to achieve. Speak No Evil touches on racism, homophobia, sexism, immigration and family through the friendship of Niru and Meredith. This coming-of-age narrative focuses mostly on Nigerian-American Niru and his painful coming out to his religious family. However, Iweala masterfully navigates the complicity of Meredith - Niru's white best friend - through her lack of knowledge in cultural differences and fear of speaking up. While not an easy read, it is a necessary one.
An athlete from a private school in Washington, D.C., and his friend, the daughter of government insiders, struggle with the responses to the young man's sexual orientation before finding themselves speeding toward a violent future.