Wednesday, April 27, 2011

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥: Dark Patches by Azuka Thomson

Dark Patches
Azuka Thomson

Release Date: February 25th, 2011
Page Count: 245
Source: Complimentary copy provided by Pump Up Your Book Promotions, in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thank you!)

Meet Ndidi, the high school teacher and adoring wife. Blissfully married for seven years, a single question brings her world crashing down. Grant, Ndidi s loving husband, is his mother s only child. Unable to stand up to his relatives, he devises a plan to keep his family together. Omorose, Grant s mother, is determined to leave no stones unturned in her quest for more grandchildren, even if it means spiritual intervention. Josephine is no ordinary second wife. Selfish, manipulative and trouble-some, she does not intend to share Grant with Ndidi, so she starts an evil campaign with horrifying consequences. As each of them make sacrifices for the sake of a common goal, ruthless bids for power unleash sinister forces of catastrophic proportions... 
What Stephanie Thought: Dark Patches is a breathtaking, stunning debut that's simple in physique, but indispensable in meaning. Set in modern Nigeria, the novel explores the conflicting religious and ethical beliefs of two families who seem like complete opposites, but in essence, are truly the same.

Ndidi is living the high life with her successful husband, Grant, and adorable, Adesuwa. Her relationship with Grant began like a fairy tale: she was just a wide-eyed girl when she first met him—the attractive and charismatic "older man"—and their chemistry was inevitable and instant. 

Seven years into the marriage, she couldn't be any happier, but her mother-in-law, Omorose, has a different approach to their family. Her son, her only son, is soon to hit forty, and yet Ndidi has only produced one grandchild, who is already five years old. The biological clock keeps ticking, and if Odorose doesn't interfere, Adesuwa may be the last of her namesake—something she won't let happen. 

So she sets out to find Grant a second wife, a common practice of Bini society. Ndidi however, having been raised Ibo, cannot understand why her husband must marry another woman, and is heartbroken. But out of fear of losing the man she loves most, she has no other choice but to agree to allowing a second woman come and claim her husband.
Josephine's malicious demeanor is about to change everything Ndidi has ever known, and the reader sees it all in Dark Patches, as if the events are unfolding directly in front of them.

To me, this novel isn't just an enjoyable story, but also a subliminal lesson. Azuka Thompson has a preeminent way of demoralizing human greed—which leaves you wondering, are people really that detrimental? Or just plain evil? The most significant moral of Dark Patches is what goes around comes
around. Though Ndidi struggles and suffers the most, in the end, her fairy-tale ending is rightfully returned to her, making a point that, if one has the strength to remain grounded and not allow desire for vengeance to engulf them, they will emerge from catastrophe with a mended heart and a happily-ever-afer. 

The prose in Dark Patches is easy to follow, but isn't flawless. Most of the errors include a lack of commas, which isn't so bad except that sometimes sentences just seem to run on and on and soon everything seems like one big blob rather than a series of coherent thoughts which often confuses me and do you notice how I am doing it right now and isn't it a little annoying?

All in all, Thompson does an excellent job emphasizing how one little sin can outbalance propriety, and how far human depths will go to for personal gain.

Stephanie Loves: "'No matter how difficult it may appear, choose an option that your heart can cope with presently. Do not work against your heart, otherwise your burden will be twice as heavy.'"

Radical Rating: 8 hearts: An engaging read; highly recommended. ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥