Stolen gods?! What an interesting concept for a book! Taking something so important as village's ancient idol is, in itself, a heartless and cowardly act. When the thief is personally related to the villagers in the most intimate way, that makes it even more despicable. What type of person would do such a ruthless thing and why?
Ike's journey answers these questions and gives the reader new ideas to ponder as well. I found the clashes between the indigenous religion and Christianity to be quite insigtful. I also loved reading about the modern village life through the eyes of a returned immigrant.
The portion of the novel that deals with Ike's life in the US was full of stereotypes and the dialog seemed unnatural and jarring, but fortunately most of the novel is set in his hometown of Utonki in Nigeria. The Nigerian leg of his journey was written superbly. His angst was palpable on the page. Could he go through with it? Could he?
Ndibe's writing brought me right along with Ike as he traveled. I almost felt as if I were sitting with him in the deity hut as he communed with his uncle, and later when he ultimately made his final decision.
This was a really good read, but I was disappointed with the ending. It left me a bit confused. I don't have a problem with ambiguous endings, but this one really fell flat for me.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this novel, and I'm glad I got a chance to read it.