Hey y’all! I’m doing a new thing on The Spotlight series! Today, I am publishing my very first review on a book! I’m excited, because I’ve never reviewed a book before. But there are many things I had never done before that I began to do after I first took the plunge to become a Blogger. So, I’m not going to shy away from this challenge. However, do forgive me if I neglect protocols for this. I’m learning and also trying to do it my way…
Alright, first, about the Authour, Itunu Taiwo. She describes herself as “a modern day girl with Christ fashioned values…” She’s someone whose blog I stumbled upon early last year. I really don’t remember how I came across it, but I saw that she wrote story series, and decided to follow one of them. That was ‘Beautiful Wings’. It was an inspiring, romantic story for singles, which I also got much from. After that, and reading the other articles on her blog, www.myglowingscenes.com, I became a fan. I’ve actually spotlighted at least two of her posts since 🙂
On the 1st of May 2017, Itunu released her second book, Stolen Kisses, alongside Dear Diary, which must not be confused with her first book, My Love Diaries. Three different books, and three different ways of teaching the world about God’s love. All three books can be downloaded from the Okadabooks’ Store, and My Love Diaries is free.
Today’s review is on her novel, Stolen Kisses. I had intended to do a joint review for Dear Diary as well, but it is almost double the length of Stolen Kisses, and I’m yet to finish it. Half-way, though. It’s a completely different style of writing compared to Stolen Kisses, and I can tell she had a whole lot of fun writing Dear Diary. I’m enjoying reading it.
So about Stolen Kisses… The name is enticing already. You can already tell that there will be betrayal and heartache. You might also be anticipating that there will be repercussions to pay, and so lots of drama, as you consider the verse that inspired the title:
“Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant. But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell” (Prov 9:17-18).
The story doesn’t disappoint in this sense! In fact, from the start, Chapter One, we get a very dramatic scene that conveys betrayal and heartache, laced with threats! Even though the tempo slows down a bit, there isn’t a dull moment in this book. Things start to fall into place as we see the origins of this forsaken love, and discover the many issues that led to the breakdown of the marriage between Imade and Bode Morgan.
In the midst of this drama, their only child, Jeje, is at death’s door. At only six years old, she’s battling cancer, which began at the tender age of three. This further makes Imade believe she is the victim in all of this, as she is the one burdened to care for their child, while her husband distracts himself from his marital problems with an affair!
It would have been easy for Itunu or any writer to make one person out to be the villain in this story but, skillfully, Itunu did not succumb to this temptation. Even though she was explicit in painting evil as evil, she still managed to convey the vulnerability and humanity in all her characters, including the despised other woman, Lisa. The faults of everyone involved was plain to see, and the solution for all of them was given through the message of the Cross.
It is a convicting story that will get each one of us to search out our hearts and motives, and to steer clear of judging another person. The message of forgiveness is strongly passed. And love is also taught through practical examples, which is not reliant on the worthiness of those we love, but on the gracious love we have been shown in Christ.
For someone who has never been married, Itunu has a great insight into the issues presented in marriage and how to deal with them. There are also strong lessons for the singles to take away, about the things that make for a good marriage, even before you say “I do”. I certainly see a lot of what God has been teaching me revealed in her writings, and in particular, Stolen Kisses.
With all this said, don’t imagine a predictable script. The story isn’t predictable. I was actually expecting a different ending, when an old flame reared his head into Imade’s life, and a new one arose in Lisa’s. There were quite a few twists and turns that made me smile, and which also carried important lessons for us all. One of the strongest lessons that one can take away is that “all things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose” (Rom 8:28). The message is to surrender our will to God, and let Him take control.
My only criticism is that more attention could have been given to editing the book. I have the eye of a perfectionist when it comes to these things, and I was expecting a higher standard for the finishing of a book, as opposed to a blogpost. But don’t let that put you off. You might not notice it, because there were not that many.
So, I would recommend ALL my readers to head on over to Okadabooks.com and get their copy of Stolen Kisses. It is going for N1,000 only. It is also available internationally on Smashwords and Kobobooks. For the links you need, read her blogpost on the release: http://myglowingscenes.com/book-release-stolen-kisses-dear-diary-available-purchase/
Finally, I would like to say Congratulations and Well Done dear Sister! You’ve done a great work, yielding yourself to the Holy Ghost to communicate such powerful messages. May this knowledge, wisdom and understanding increase and bless your home as well. Amen! Keep it up, Itunu!
Thanks guys! I hope you enjoyed reading my review 🙂 If it has convinced you to get a copy of Stolen Kisses or any of Itunu’s books, or even if you just decided to start stalking her on her blog (hint hint: she’s writing a new story series, ‘Forgiven’), do drop a comment here. I want to know that my effort was not in vain 🙂 God bless you!
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