Akinyemi’s To Love & To Cherish, a therapy for troubled souls
Title: To Love & To Cherish
Author: Oluseyi Gabriel Akinyemi
Publisher: Greenlife Publishers, UK
Reviewer: Olu James
To psychologist and author, Oluseyi Gabriel Akinyemi, it’s never the end of the road for anyone confronted by life challenges.
His latest work of fiction, To Love & To Cherish teaches that, with hope and concerted effort, you and I can turn adversities around for our own good.
Indeed, Akinyemi brings his expertise as a psychologist, social worker, and motivational speaker to bear on the storyline of his book. He croons of hope when there seems to be none and he offers a happy ending when unhappiness looms on the horizon by creating two forlorn major characters, Etim Jr. and Cherish from two sorry backgrounds. Both youngsters have the misfortune of having their parents separated.
In a simple language devoid of plot complexities, the author depicts dysfunctional families in a contemporary African society and how children born in those homes are affected. There is a traumatic echo that lingers in their lives, and the complicities of friends add to their woes. The work, therefore, echoes with themes of betrayal, familial untenability, domestic violence, and true love. In the midst of so much despondency, it’s love that triumphs. This is something to take away.
The plot of the fiction follows a linear progression. There is an omnipresent sense of the tragic lurking about the settings, but this is perhaps the author’s way of increasing the reader’s anxiety to find out how the resolution will go.
A prologue heralds To Love & To Cherish, narrated in the first person by Etim Jr., who tells us he is a ‘happy-go-lucky person, the type that can easily mix with anybody regardless of the sex, race, and colour’, nay, one without privileges while growing up. What’s more, he experienced a shock when his father left his mum for another woman, leaving her to keep repeating ‘all men are the same’. As he grew up, he was compelled to hate his elusive dad for all the pains brought on by his mother.
Also, due to the sad experience she suffered at the hands of her husband, the woman began to fret over his son’s behaviour, for she was afraid his son was going to take after his father. Things, however, came to a head when the boy ran away from home to live without any maternal interference. It was a wrong decision, as Etim Jr. begins to lead a carefree life, mingling with women and men. Unfortunately, it was his bestie who turned out to be a thorn.
Likewise, Cherish, a beautiful girl, whose father abandoned the mum because he wanted a male child, grew up to dread men. Worse still, her bestie, Belinda betrayed her by sleeping with her boyfriend, making her hatred for men to intensify.
To solve these problems, the author brings the two traumatised youths together as husband and wife, but what looks like a potentially good marriage between Etim and Cherish was in the throes of crashing because of infertility. Etim had even brought a divorce letter for her to sign before Cherish tendered the result of the test they took, which revealed Etim was impotent. Yet, Cherish talked him into hoping for the best, which eventually came their way.
Akinyemi’s To Love & To Cherish is like a therapy for troubled minds; yes, both young and old! Within the pages perhaps lie the solutions to several marital crises bedeviling many homes today. I recommend this book to all.
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