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Eighteen-year-old Ejituru’s dream of completing a medical degree in her own country of Nigeria and becoming a doctor was shattered when her father arranged a marriage between her and an older man named Ignatius who had emigrated to the US some years ago and who she only met for a few hours. Ejituru’s father hopes the marriage will bring him wealth since Ignatius’s father was the richest man in the village even though the source of his wealth was unknown and he has been estranged from Ignatius. Although Ignatius’s family back in Nigeria thinks that he is an engineer, Ignatius has instead worked as a houseboy and a drug dealer and currently drives a cab. To Ignatius’s family, the marriage is socially advantageous since it would align them with a well regarded and socially important family in the community.

Ejituru having gained admission to the Medical School is unwilling to move immediately to the US and is determined to complete her education in Nigeria. She is supported by her mother, the family bread winner who regards Ignatius’ family as inferior and whose ambition is to see her only daughter excel in college. The mother withdrew her objection when Ignatius agreed to fund Ejituru’s medical education. Not wanting her father to lose face in the village, Ejituru reluctantly agrees to drop out of college in Nigeria and move to the US to marry Ignatius. The marriage proves rocky as each wants something else. Ejituru gradually realizes that things are not what they seem and Ignatius is not the rich man that he has led the family to believe. Ignatius finds that Ejituru is not really the subservient and docile wife that he can control. She is too ambitious and more interested in her society friends. Ejituru struggles to achieve her objective. She gets a job and enrolls in the University and eventually graduates. Frustrated Ignatius finds refuge in the arms of a Nigerian woman who is desperate to have children.

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