Tenderfoot is a book that follows the first year of a pampered upper middle-class city girl in a Northern university. However, such a simple description does no justice in explaining the themes this book delves into. Do you like character-driven, slice of life coming of age stories with relatable protagonists? Do you like your fiction with a healthy dose of social commentary that questions and deconstructs the fallacies and contradictions of modern day society? If you answered yes to any of the above, then Tenderfoot is the book for you. Here, the main character learns from experience and matures, without reducing the supporting characters to plot devices; here, society is called out without the ‘soapboxing’ or heavy-handedness we see in too many literary works. Tenderfoot doesn’t impose moral lessons on its readers; this book never tries to tell you what to think, rather, it lays all the cards on the table and forces you to make a choice.
Here is an excerpt:
“Good morning,” he said finally, removing his cap and placing it on the pulpit.
“Godd morning,” some members of the class said back-as against standing up in unision and ssying good mooooorning sir.
He pickedup up a marker and wrote on the board ‘GENS 101’
He turned to face the class again.
“You,” he said, pointing ahead. “Why are you dressed like that?”
Everyone turned nack, as did I, only that there was no one behind me. I faced forward to see everyone staring at me.
I pointed at myself, “me?” I asked.
“Yes, you,” he said calmly.
I was silent.
“Stand up,” he said.
“Are you just resuming?”
“Didn’t anybody tell you how we dress here?”
I looked down at the table.
“Mm?” He asked.
“I was told black and white,” I said, avoiding stares.
“And this is your black and white?”
I was silent.
“You think you’re still in secondary school?”
I could feel the penetrating stares of every member of the class.
“Next time don’t come to my class dressed like this, okay?”
I resisted the urge to ask what was wrong with what I was wearing, “Okay sir.” I replied.
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