“Losing My Religion deals with the struggle of identity in a foreign land, a concept with which I'm quite familiar and the reason I wanted to read this book.
The writing in Losing My Religion is beautiful, almost poetic in places, and interspersed with many of the author's emotions. The humor, when it comes, is quite unexpected and delightful.
Femi Fatoyinbo was raised in Nigeria, a country steeped in culture and tradition. When Femi moves to America in his adult life, he struggles to adjust to both the news ways of life and the loss of his own culture. Both the pain and the wonder of this experience are evident in the writing. When one is uprooted and replaced elsewhere, along with the discovery there is a tremendous sense of loss. The word "alien" is bandied around by locals, but the feeling of being alien is never greater than for the transplanted person. The new surroundings and the early mistakes one makes are a constant reminder.
Femi must cross cultural and language barriers. The country of his origin is cause for suspicion every time he crosses borders, which increases the sense of isolation. This is only part of the price he pays for his restlessness.
Losing My Religion gives the reader a fairly detailed insight into life in Nigeria, the history, the beauty of the country, and the struggles, including the racial/social issues in the South. The reader can feel the heat as the author describes the way the African sun bakes the land - a warmth he finds unmatched in the US. It's as if the author is describing his own heated passion for his own land - one that is and will always remain unmatched during his life in the US.
Femi suffers through the loss of family, the pain of distance, a marriage crisis of his own, bigotry, threats, and a dying African cultural religion. He finds greater struggles waiting for him back in Nigeria in the changing perceptions of his own family towards him.
This an emotional story, at times distressing, but also a story of survival and success. ”