The goal this year is to surround myself with beautiful stories, so when I am not writing, you’ll find me watching Kdrama or reading a good book. To help myself read more books generally and especially books by African authors I’ll be posting book reviews on the blog now and then according to how my spirit leads me.
In that light, this is my first book review for the year – Hell Hath No Fury (An African Christmas Romance Anthology) well, not the entire book though.
I won this book in a giveaway on Instagram and the first thing that came to my mind after reading the first five stories in the book is that African women dey write abeg!
Hell Hath No Fury is a collection of twenty stories written by twenty female African authors. I haven’t even finished reading it yet, I have about nine more stories to go, I’m reading it small small because I don’t want it to finish and also because I’ve been pre-occupied with watching Kdrama.
One of the stories in the anthology that I really loved is Loathing by Timi Waters and this is the particular story that I will be reviewing in the book and of course, I’ll try as much as possible to do so without spoilers.
SYNOPSIS OF LOATHING TAKEN FROM THE BOOK:
Preye Wilcox, the only daughter of a food production billionaire, had a Gucci wrapped life, a trust fund and a company to resume whenever she was ready.
In a bid to test her mettle and work her way up from the food chain like everyone else, Preye relinquished her place at her father’s company and took on a role as an intern in Jitech, an IT firm.
On her first day of resumption, she met Ayiba. A 6’3 buff male who stole her breath at first glance charmed her with his captivating good looks and made clear his sexual attraction to her.
But beneath Ayiba’s compelling looks and polish exterior was a deep-seated aversion that Preye soon discovered her new job title at Jitech unleashed; the role of being his boss.
MY TAKE ON THE STORY:
Preye already had the life of every girl’s dreams, she had wealthy, rich and supportive parents, five older brothers who would literally do anything for her. Although I get the need for her to want to prove herself, as the youngest child and the only daughter, I get her need to want to start from the bottom up.
Everything would have been fine had she not met that Devil’s incarnate, that first-class bastard called Ayiba.
Ayiba took advantage of Preye’s naivety, of her love for him and her father’s wealth. Being a man, he had the backing of society to do as he pleased. He successfully fucked up Preye’s mental health.
If you have read the story, you might agrue that Preye had her faults, she married a man within a few months of meeting him against her family’s advice relying solely on the love she had for him and the love she believed he had for her. Preye’s only fault was falling in love and not taking the time to get to know Ayiba better before marrying him.
But Ayiba was a narcissist, a manipulator and a very twisted human being. In Preye’s defence, I don’t think she stood a chance against Ayiba’s manipulations.
“What kind of man stays married to a man who has practically fucked half of Lagos,” he laughed. “Stupid you. Now, if you are not going to fuck me, do well to uncuff me.”
The quote above is just a glimpse into the book but it pretty much showed that Ayiba knew what he was doing – he knew the effect his actions had on Preye, he basked in the glory of the power he had over her, while Preye, on the other hand, was the just the unsuspecting victim like most women in our society.
“I turned to God. I prayed and fasted that he restore and save my marriage.”
This is another quote from the book and one that really broke heart, I’m sure it sounds familiar to you because it’s the reality in our society.
Wonder why most churches and mosques have more women in their congregation than men?
One of the reasons is that the burden to protect the home, to keep the family together has been placed on women. The society has practically brainwashed women to be the spiritual warrior of the family – if a husband cheats, they say it’s because the wife wasn’t prayerful enough and she has allowed the devil to penetrate her home in the form of a strange woman – remember the movie, prayer room?
Ayiba not only cheated on her with other women, but he also cheated her financially as well, tore down her spirits and called her a fool to her face, she suffered so much abuse from him and could only turn to God to change him.
This is practically the story of many Nigerian women – Men are never expected to take responsibility for their actions.
I love how Preye dealt with him even though the method she used showed the obvious decline in her mental health and state of mind. I also love the theme of forgiveness in the story – how forgiving him was for her peace and not his.
Although, Ayiba remained a manipulative bastard until the very end and he got what he truly deserved.
Conclusively, I love how the author showed us Preye’s growth process, how she learned from her mistakes and how she took her time before jumping into her next relationship after Ayiba. I love how it ended happily with Preye loving Kole, a man who loved her (want to know about Kole and how he comes into the story, you would have to read the book.
My favourite thing about the book is how the author addressed social issues such as mental health and emotional abuse in relationships.
I just hope one day men will realise that women who give everything up for love are not fools, I hope when they realise it, it will not be too late for them like it was for Ayiba.
This is just one story out of twenty stories in the book, Hell Hath No Fury. There are so many beautiful love stories in the book that it’s so hard to pick a favourite. You can find the book on any platforms where they sell great books, both ebook and paperback.
Thank you for reading this review. Please subscribe to my newsletter here and please recommend good books for me to read this year. I’m currently reading Memory of Stone by Chio Zoe.
Tell me, how’s your reading culture going this year so far, for me, it’s going really slow but I think it will eventually pick up as the year goes on.