Book Details

Ada's motto was: "I'll live one day at a time!"

Ada leaves her home, her six children, her husband and her beloved career in Nigeria to travel to London. Fred, her husband, had recently lost a substantial sum of borrowed money abroad. He brings serious pressure to bear on Ada to go and work in London to "salvage" the family from financial disgrace. Despite her protests and warning that "such a separation could cost us our marriage", Ada is persuaded by her husband and children to go to London.

Ada's traumas, losses, failures and successes are very sensitively narrated in Ada in London. It is the story of one woman's sacrifice and attempt to serve her family with love. In addition, Ada aimed to retain her human dignity, her spiritual relationship with God, and her right as a woman to some happiness. Ada undergoes many changes and in the process matures both emotionally and spiritually. She learns to trust God more, but more especially, Ada learns to rely on herself and her own abilities to survive the traumas of living in a strange country with no real friend around! Ada's experiences are unique but also quite universal. Hers is the story of pain, traumas and some joy! Does Ada achieve all of her goals? It would be worth finding out!

All the characters' names have been changed to protect their privacy.


Book Excerpt


Ada resolved to put her miserable memories away and have a good Christmas. But on the 24th of December, a letter arrived from Fred, telling her that it was now confirmed that he and the children couldn't come as planned. Fred's friend had travelled without them because, he told Fred, he didn't run his business as a charity. "Poor me", Ada sighed. "I can't even have the pleasure of having my family with me for Christmas." She went into the bathroom at about 9 am to have her bath. In her sorrow, she forgot the rule about the bathroom door. She slammed the door. As soon as the door slammed, Ada remembered that you could not open the door from within because the door handle was broken. And she was all alone in the house. Her flatmate, David, had gone to work since 6 am, and would not be back until well after 9 pm. "Oh, my God!", Ada cried, "Oh, God, what have I done?". She looked through the small bathroom window to see if she could attract any one's attention out there. She looked out for a long while, but there was no one about. "Say your last prayers, Ada, Baby", she said to herself. "Today is your dying day. You shall die frozen up like fresh beef for export. Such arrant stupidity is punishable only by death! Your children shall hear it, all the world will hear it. 'A Nigerian Ph.D. candidate freezes to death in a London bathroom!'"




"To the baby, Little Julia, she gave many fond kisses. Tears beclouded her eyes as she climbed into the car that was to take her and Fred to Lagos, the car that would take her away from her children's warm love, her staying power. Would she be able to cope without them? Can she cook and eat alone with no one asking her for more? 'What does mother hen do when her chuckles bring none of her chicks home, under her warm wings and sagging stomach? Does she writhe in pain from the acute jab from the knife called loneliness?'"

Gracy Ukala is an award-winning novelist from Nigeria. Her two published novels, Dizzy Angel and The Broken Bond, address the difficulties of life encountered by women who live in a world where men rule over theirlives, and mental, as well as physical abuse is commonplace. Her newest novel, Ada in London, continues the theme, as she exposes the tribulations of a highly educated woman, Ada, who must cope with, not only a philandering husband, but one whose shady business ventures have brought the family to the verge of financial ruin.

Sent against her will to London, Ada must seek employment in the hope that she will make enough money to save her family. As her evolving circumsatnces take her from cleaning woman to waitress to teacher in a deprived London school, Ada faces tests of racism, sexism and survival..

Ada begins from the beginning and struggles through the Culture Shock of coming from a most-well-behaved Secondary School in Nigeria, to teaching in a South East London school. Ada could only then describe the South East London schools as: "mad houses with mad children!" However, Ada's stern determination to succeed, as well as her unequivocal love for children, stands her in good stead. She soon falls in love with the children, becomes a beloved and highly respected teacher all round, and makes very quick progress in several London schools.

Ada in London makes fascinating reading. In it, you will find out how Ada contains her pain and suffering, especially over her losses รป those of her most beloved parents who died in her absence, as well as her marriage of over 25 years. Ada's spiritual encounters with the Soul of her departed mother take you into a different dimension. They are an eye-opener, proving that people never die, they only just move on.

Ada in London is a story about choices that mould a life, the strength of abiding faith in God, and one woman's search for love and self-esteem. Ada's courage, discipline, strength of character, as well as her emotional and spiritual growths in all of this are simply inspirational!.

Outskirts Press Inc.
November, 2005.


About the Author

Gracy Ukala

Gracy Ukala was born in Mbiri, Nigeria. A renowned teacher, Dr (Ms) Ukala (then Mrs Osifo) was Principal of Emotan College, Benin City from 1981-1989. In London, she headed several school departments. Ms Ukala's published works include two novels: Dizzy Angel
(1985) - (Gracy Osifo), and The Broken Bond
(2001).She now runs her own successful business in London.

Please note that The Broken Bond
can be purchased from Barnes and Noble:


- Dramas of Love and Marriage
(Nwamife Press, 1978)

- English Language Basics
(Idodo-Umeh, 1980))

- A Selection of Poems in New Nigeria Verse
(UPL, 1985) )

- Short Stories in Salsloze Asche
- Gracy Osifo, Flora Nwapa and Zainab Alkali - (1989, Zurich)