Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Book Review: Broken


Book description:

At a young age, Promise is molested by her uncle, and her life is never the same again. She grows up to be promiscuous, using sex to meet basic necessities and luxuries of life. She's intrigued to meet Ope, a Christian man who practices celibacy, and in her attempts to make him fall, she falls in love...

But married life is not all she dreamed it would be. Their chemistry in bed leaves much to be desired, and Promise soon loses the fight against her sexual urges. Convinced that they can never work, she wants to leave, but Ope doesn't believe in divorce. In her struggle for freedom, she discovers the depths of her own wickedness, as she seeks to break the man she once loved fervently.

Broken is a story about broken people who break others, and the divine power of love that conquers all.
***

“Broken” is a novel by author Ufuomaee.

Promise (or Missy), the main character, suffers a detailed and graphic child abuse from age 9 from her uncle and it breaks her. It’s even more hurtful because he can easily move on with his life, with a wife, and plans to build his own family without even thinking twice about it. He isn’t remorseful and feels no guilt, but Promise is left hurt all over again, and it affects her future, turning her into a sex addict.


The first few pages were way too graphic, without warning, that you decide whether to stop right there or keep reading. I took a few days after reading the prologue, then came back to the book, and good thing I did because it was a nice story.

I like how the story starts, you think it’s just a long narration by Promise, but then, it’s like a therapy session and you suddenly feel there are other people in the room with you when the counselor responds a few pages into the chapter. That was a nice touch.

It’s not all bad for Promise because she meets Ope, and they fall in love, but then they face some challenges with intimacy and Promise breaks her marital vows. You never know how much a man cares for a wife who is clearly cheating, but Ope goes for AA meetings, only that this time, it’s for  people whose spouses are sex addicts. I liked that touch as well.

However, the narration in the sessions are too long, full chapters long, especially as no one is responding or engaging Ope, so it makes it a bit tiring to read after a while. Same goes for some of Missy’s counseling sessions.

Shortly after the story starts, Missy has an encounter with Tony, a sex addict like herself and he convinces her to leave her husband and move in with him, and she does that in a whim... no time to even think that through. I thought it was odd, even the author thought so too, so I guess that was the idea. But things don’t go as planned after she gets pregnant and has to get rid of the baby. Then things get bad and a bit unnatural when out of nowhere Tony makes her a prisoner and a sex slave for months...he beats her up and flogs her with a belt 100 times because she begs one of his clients to help her. I don’t know what type of belt he used but by 15 lashes, the receiver would have already fainted and the giver would get tired. As I read, I imagined him flogging her and was counting the strokes, and I know I would have gotten tired of flogging by 10. It was a relief that she escaped and went back to her family in Ibadan, but the book got a bit supernatural when a divine being visited her and took her back to reconcile with Ope in Lagos.

As good always wins, the law caught up with both Promise’s uncle and Tony, while repeating their evil deeds, and they didn’t go unpunished. This came in the end just when I was almost disappointed that the evil doers had been forgotten.

I always have a favorite part in every book I read, but this book was far too serious for me to have one. Touching on serious issues and topics that affect our society, our well-being, our faith, I had no cause to laugh, but to learn. It's a book written to educate readers, not necessarily to entertain them.

3 STARS

Literary Yours,
CMO.