Hey hey! How’s the weekend going? Welcome to another episode of The Spotlight. Today, I’m doing another book review of a book which tells an age-old story in a whole new and African way.
Meet the author, Sinmisola Ogunyinka. She’s a wife, mother, movie producer and talk-show host. She is also a Craftsman of the Jerry B, Jenkins former Christian Writers’ Guild, Colorado, USA, and founder of Pleasant Writers’ Guild. She blogs at www.sinmisolao.wordpress.com, teaches writing and has self-published over forty titles!
I discovered Sinmi when I was invited to a special group for Okadabooks’ Authors, and she was one of the active participants in the group. After one of my favorite authors, The Fertile Chick, spoke highly of her writing, I knew I had to check it out! So, I bought and read my first book by Sinmi simply titled “Pepper”. It was quite an interesting read and one I would recommend.
So, Sinmi’s latest book is Foreverland (A Cinderella Story), and I was privileged to get my copy free from the author. It was published in August, but I only got started on it a couple of weeks ago. From the moment I started reading it, I had admiration for the writer. I remember feeling the same way when I read “Pepper”. I can see a lot of similarities in our style of storytelling.
Sinmi told a story about Nene, a mysterious girl who has been dealt an awful fate in life, and lives at the mercy of others. As the story unravels, we learn more about Nene and all the secrets she holds. We also learn about the people around her, who use her, abuse her and alienate her, blaming her for evil acts of others, because she’s the easy and willing victim (so it would seem). Things come to a head when Seyi, the brother of Kunle, who loved Nene and is suspected to have taken his life because of her rejection, returns to town. He too is inexplicably drawn to Nene and as he seeks answers for his brother’s death, he learns a whole lot about his family and townsfolk.
This story had everything. Romance, intrigue, mystery, suspense, crime, the supernatural and faith. I was captivated from the beginning til the end. Even though the story was slow-paced, it was thoroughly enjoyable the way she wrote capturing their expressions and emotions, so that it’s like you’re watching a movie. You are kept hanging on, guessing, as Sinmi doesn’t rush to reveal the pieces that come together later to make this story a masterpiece.
I actually didn’t notice the reference to Cinderella in the title, and it was towards the end of the story that I began to see that there were similarities between the Disney classic and Sinmi’s tale. It was so uniquely different. In this case, Nene wasn’t just a step daughter to an evil step-mother. She was also the used and despised slave girl of the whole town. Seyi is also not the classic Prince Charming. In fact, he’s far from charming. I spent the first part of the book trying not to hate him for the way he behaved and handled Nene. Later, I felt pity for him for the way she handled him too, haha!
Also, I really liked how it was subtly Christian. As in, it wasn’t in your face that it was a Christian book or that any of the characters were Christians, although I think that would have been nice as well. It’s good in that the unreligious can get lost in the story, but bad in that they may leave the story without taking away much Christian teaching. I think it was good as the story started and progressed, but I think more reference to the teachings of the Faith and scripture could have made the story/book richer for all audiences.
Overall, this was a lovely read, and days later, I was still in Nene and Seyi’s world. Thanks Sinmi for a really good story. I look forward to reading more from you.
You can get your copy of Foreverland (A Cinderella Story) from Amazon.
Photo credit: http://www.pixabay.com
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Categories: Book Reviews, Series, The Latest, The Realm of The Woman, The Spotlight
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