Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe is a book set in Nigeria, using fictional characters to examine the lives of the Igbo people under British colonial role in the 1890s. The protagonist of the book is Okonkwo, an Igbo warrior.
In Chapter 7, the hostage Ikemefuna has been living with Okonkwo's family and is a good influence on Nwoye, Okonkwo's son. The Oracle of Hills and Caves has decreed that the goddess insists that the village kill Ikemefuna. Although the elder Ogbuefi Ezeudu suggests Okonkwo stay away from the ceremony, Okonkwo participates and ends up being the one to actually kill the boy who he has come to love.
In Chapter 8, Okonkwo is deeply disturbed by his own part in the death of Nwoye. He visits Obierika who explains that Okonkwo should have stayed home and that he may have offended the earth goddess. In the discussion between the two, we see more evidence that Okonkwo is failing to fully develop his feminine side, and thus is by Igbo standards failing to become the ideal man who is supposed to balance masculine and feminine. Ibe and his family arrive to negotiate the bride price of Obierika's daughter Akueke.
In Chapter 9, Ezinma, Okonkwo and Ekwefi’s daughter falls ill. The chapter deals with this in the context of traditional religion in terms of the ogbanje, a child who dies and is then reborn.