The book love story explores the clash between tradition and modernity. The author looks at the differences between tradition and modernity, by exploring various examples that touches political, economic and cultural aspect of life (Ama Ata Aidoo )
Esi acceptance to be married by Ali as a second wife depicts the traditional views regarding polygamy as legally allowed which is not the case to modernity.
Also ESI opts remain married to Ali despite Ali’s unfaithfulness claiming to adhere to values she was taught while growing up.
Ali take coworker to visit Esi family to discuss issue pertaining to his marriage, traditionally discussing marriage issues was assigned to respectable member of the husband to be. Ali’s request is rejected for not adhering to expected tradition although modern generation disregards such traditional rituals.
Fulsena abandons her job as a nurse by profession so that she can adhere to traditional norms which require her to be submissive to her husband.
Esi is seen as complete financially and independent when Ali proposes to drive Esi home as traditional way to express affection which Esi decline. Ali feels totally embarrassed since traditionally a man is supposed to be responsible to a woman.
Esi acceptance to be married to Ali after he fulfilled what the tradition dictates as basic requirement for marriage. Also Ali adhere to traditional norms when he accept to offer the society what they dictate as requirement for marriage
Esi’s daughter evidence quarrel in the family for not being submissive and participating in decision making in the family which lead her being divorced. The tradition perception on divorce is clearly illustrated when Esi friend fails to understand her decision of leaving Oko.