Book Reviews

The Spotlight – A Review of “Bolatito” by Seyi Amao

Hey… Happy New Year! Happy Valentine’s! Happy Women’s Month!!!

Lol! I can’t believe this is my first post on the blog this year… I’ve been thinking maybe I need to do something different with it, since it ceased being my therapy a couple of years ago… But God continues to lead me on this journey despite the bumps in the road.

Big sigh.

Okay, if you like IGTV videos, check out this review on my IGTV Spotlight series!  It’s the first…  I am @Ufuomaee on Instagram.

So, today, I’m going to review a book I read this week by Seyi Amao. It’s actually her debut novel, and I was gifted a fabulously packaged copy to read and share my honest review on. I actually got my copy in late January and hoped to read it in Feb, but life got mad busy! God got me on an assignment where He taught me a thing or two about discipline… After that assignment was done, He prompted me to pick up my copy, which I’d started and dropped, and finish the book.

I’m glad He did, because it is a worthy read. “Bolatito” holds a powerful message for many women all around the world. In fact, it’s really one of the books women should be reading in this Women’s Month. It deals with infertility and the challenges and abuses many women face because of it. It also looks at the subject of adoptive love, the desire to mother someone that is not born of you, and a love that can exist between a child without a mother and a mother without a child.

Truthfully, I’ve never read a book like it… Even though there were elements of romance, I wouldn’t call it a romantic book. What it was was revealing and inspiring. It takes you into the world of Bolatito, an abused wife, now divorcee, living with PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome), and a strong longing to have a family of her own. Everything changes for her when she meets Ifunanya, a 12-year-old girl at the Children’s Ward of the hospital she was admitted to, after having an anxiety attack.

We also read about Lieutenant Colonel Azuka, Ifu’s dad, and Major Usman, his friend; two military men fighting the war against Boko Haram in the northern regions of Nigeria. These men, like Bolatito, are living with great losses in their lives, despite their calling to serve in the army. With a few flashbacks, we read about how they met and the challenges they went through to get to where they are now. We also get some frontline action scenes of their battles with the insurgents.

It was at the end that it really connected for me. The author shares her inspiration for the book, which is drawn from Jesus’ healing of Jairus’ dying 12-year old daughter and the woman with the issue of blood. We see not one but two miracles…three even, when Bolatito also finds love with a man… The message here is, God is still in the business of miracles – even if, like the woman with the issue of blood, you have waited 12 years!

I liked how the book was real; it showed how unsympathetic people can be, even in the church, to women battling infertility. I loved how Bolalito liberated herself from her abusive marriage, even though it took many years for enough to be enough. And I loved how we were shown a new kind of romance, between the motherless and the childless… It kind of depicted God’s love for the fatherless… So, you see, very inspiring!

What I didn’t like…. I found the chapters too long. An almost 200-page story told in 8 chapters… For me, it meant that I dropped the book frequently, as I’m not a fast reader and usually monitor my reading by devoting time to complete a chapter at a time… Sometimes, depending on how the chapter ends, I may want to continue right away into the next, but I find long chapters discouraging.

I also thought Ifunanya’s character was too glorified in the book. She was the most unreal character to me. It would be amazing if there was such a girl living with Type 1 Diabetes, who had so much joy, energy, life, wisdom, love, and faith! Who never complained and always smiled. Who wrote and spoke beyond her years and believed the best in everyone.

In a couple of places, when the author made reference to how Bolatito’s life changed because of the child, it seemed to be a bit idolatrous, in how the girl was exalted, especially as she had been depicted to be a faultless character (apart from her infirmity). So, as much as I liked Ifu, I didn’t think she was well depicted.

All in all, it’s a good book, with a great message of love and hope, that will inspire you to not give up, no matter what you are going through. You will live again…you will love again! Well done to the author for following inspiration to write it! Keep writing and being an inspiration!

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If you liked this post, you might like THE SPOTLIGHT: A REVIEW OF “ROYALTY” BY BOLATITO BEZ-IDAKULA

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