Chasing Butterflies is a short and quick story about domestic violence and its effects on the mental & physical health of the victims.
The story opens with Titilope and Tomide, who have been married for quite a while in a gathering. Tomide goes ahead to serenade Titilope,, but here, the reader sees the couple’s dysfunctional relationship. The vibe between them is awkward, especially for Titilope, the victim of Tomide’s erratic moods. Tomide especially tells Titilope after she informs him love is more than grand gestures, that “Things just get messy when we both forget to play our path.” This statement is proof of how temperamental Tomide is and his belief in gender roles.
Yejide Kilanko is not one to shy from touchy subjects, and this is evident in Chasing Butterflies as we experience the pain Titilope goes through as a victim of domestic violence at the hands of her husband. We witness the lies, deceit, gaslighting, and many more evils Titilope goes through in her marriage. Kilanko takes us through all the processes of Titilope’s decisions to become a survivor.
“A good mother does not run from her child’s home. She always stays and fights.”
— Chasing Butterflies, Yejide Kilanko
Chasing Butterflies is a message story that shows how brutal domestic violence is. The culture of making it seem as though marriage is an accomplishment and those who can’t “keep” their marriages are failures is the bane of domestic violence, and Kilanko uses this book to question that notion. I particularly love the ending of this book as it was the most crucial kind of ending.
Should You Read?
This book is a short and quick read, the kind you can finish in few hours or a day maximum. It tells an important story, and while many readers may say it doesn’t have as much depth as they would have loved, it doesn’t take away the story’s relevance in these peculiar times. So, yes, I recommend it if you are looking for a meaningful short story on domestic violence.