It’s Valentine’s Day, and please allow me flourish your mind, not with any overblown thoughts on love, or what to make of this day, (Feb 14th) made famous by St. Valentine. My reason for writing is simple - “A heart to mend”, the recently released book from the stable of Myne Whitman goes beyond a romantic novel, or refreshing love story. As a new author, Whitman’s work has woven together an intricate story of challenge and triumphs, of family and fortune, of toughness and romanticism, of cynicism and hope, of painful losses and redemption, and of past hurt and forgiveness.
With each collection of tightly woven chapters, Whitman’s incisive script transports us to a point in history where through a combination of rare and fevered description, she feeds our imagination. By weaving us through comparable familiarity with the shenanigans and idiosyncrasies of living that come with living in major cities in Nigeria, she brings to light the imagery of life in Kano, in Enugu and Lagos, through a sequence of events.
The narrative moves slowly at first, focusing initially on two main characters, Gladys Eborah and Edward Bestman who through a number of related cosmic coincidences find themselves in a new and unfamiliar world of attraction. These two protagonists would have to overcome class differences, manipulative third parties, and an obstructionist emotional divide, to finally emerge triumphant in their quest to be together.
The often tragic tales of Edward’s early life are told not in poetic prose, but in skillful but often bleak tones that serve as a reminder that issues like abuse are hidden and the victims mostly invisible in many societies’ today. The story of Gladys after the death of her father tells the story of bruised feelings and determination to succeed the odds. Moving at breakneck pace, the narrative then moves swiftly between other key characters, while giving us enough time to pause for the rare tender moments where we, like the characters, encounter that moment of epiphany and loss, that all combined raise important issues about humanity, about greed, about trust, about friendship and about love.
I am enthralled about how in the world of Edward and Gladys, I could find the contradiction of differences and yet many similarities with my life. Ultimately, these stories show life as it is, sometimes a tough lonely journey that can turn around just through a chance meeting. This was the story of Edward and Gladys, and their lives certainly took a new turn just by that chance meeting on the streets of Lagos.
There is real passion within Myne Whitman’s well crafted stories and for that reason alone, I suggest this a must buy for everyone who has loved and lost, experienced any atom of childhood or adulthood trauma, has been betrayed, or been neglected … the beauty of this book, is that there is redemption for all and the redemption is in tandem with the title cover, that there can indeed be ‘mended hearts’.
Happy Valentine All…