Hey, hey! Happy New Year! How are you???
It’s been a while since I wrote on The Spotlight or even an article on Grace and Truth. I’m going through some things, but mostly in a place of listening and growth with God. Will write as He inspires and leads, as usual. But in the meantime, I am still reading and pursuing my other passions.
So, I read a book last week, which I finished on Sunday and knew I just had to write about it on The Spotlight. It’s a Christian Fiction book by Osarugue Adeyemi, a lady who I learnt about when she reached out to me. She’d read The Church Girl and wanted to encourage me on my writing journey. She also went ahead to buy a couple more books by me and read and reviewed them. She told me about the books she’s published, two on Okadabooks, and I said I’d check them out too.
Okay, so that’s how I came to know of Osar. But who is she? Well, from the info she shared in her book, I learnt that she is an Author and Optometrist who lives in England with her family. She loves reading and started writing short stories when she was a teenager. Like me, she believes that “one of the effective ways through which God’s message of salvation, love and restoration can be related to the world is through fictional stories that readers can identify with“. She doesn’t appear to have a website, but she has her books on Amazon as well, so do check them out.
Alright, to my review… Echoes of the Past is a beautiful, love story that is sweet from beginning to end. It’s about Derin and Fola, two people who were not meant to fall in love, but did anyway. You see, Derin is a Believer and she returned to Nigeria for a brief stint, after losing a very close friend of hers. In her early days back, she almost collides with Fola on the streets of Nigeria, because she’s unfamiliar with driving in Lagos. From the beginning, there’s an attraction between them, and Fola is keen to pursue it. Even when he discovers that she will be his new subordinate at the office. For her, he’s willing to break his rules about not mixing business with pleasure.
But Fola doesn’t believe the Gospel, even though he doesn’t deny God’s existence. He was abandoned by his mother at the doorsteps of an orphanage as a baby, and has a hard time believing that God cares for him at all. Even though he is surrounded by many believing friends, he continues to deny God any claim to his life. Yet, despite this, he is drawn to Derin, and doesn’t relent from reeling her into his world, though she says that they can never be together.
I found it so interesting how the writer was able to develop the story, the characters and build up the events to a climax. It was tantalizing, suspenseful, inspiring, heartwarming… It also makes you think about how complex matters of the heart can be, and the many ways we justify doing what we want, no matter what God has said on the matter. It makes you check yourself as you are reading, and put things right with God, so that He becomes the one you want the most. That’s what Derin had to come to learn, and it was skillfully written to convey this message and more.
I learnt a lot as a writer too, about building plots and suspense. Even though I found the dialogue to be a bit unnatural early on, I felt that it got better, with more humour and emotion communicated through later on. I also thought that considering the build up, the story could have taken a bit more time to wrap up after the inevitable drama. It sort of seemed abrupt to me. I wanted to read more about their joy when things between them finally resolved, because I was definitely emotionally invested in the story and the characters, who were real and relatable.
There was also the idea that once an unbeliever is saved, there’s nothing stopping him from marrying a believer (especially if they fell in love beforehand). This didn’t quite sit well with me, because even though I was rooting for their love, there is a lot of maturity that needs to happen before two people should marry, and being a ‘Christian’ doesn’t automatically qualify you. In that sense, I felt that it was too arranged and convenient for them to come together so soon after Fola decided to surrender his life to God. I think she should have been forsaken by him, until such a time as God brought them together again.
Regardless, I loved the book and thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I felt blessed. There’s nothing quite like reading a book by someone who understands the love of God and knows how to communicate and SEEKS to communicate that in their writing. Romance books are great to read, but Christian romance fiction give me a special high because they minister to the deepest parts of me. I’m so keen to read more from Osar!
Do get a hold of this book. For N500, it’s a steal! God bless you, Osar, for letting God use you in this way. Keep pushing and writing for His glory.
Photo credit: http://www.pixabay.com
If you liked this post, you might like THE SPOTLIGHT – A REVIEW OF “ONCE UPON A FIRST LOVE” BY TEMITOPE OMOTOSHO
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