Review of The Officers Bride.
I really loved the attention to detail about the military. Having lived in a military cantonment for a year during my Youth service, it brought back old memories.
I am looking forward to reading more from this writer because she has a gift for engaging you with her characters. She succeeded in taking me back about 25 years to those uncertain edgy days when you could almost smell the tension on the streets as coup and counter coup were a regular occurrence. You could almost imagine Officer Eddy striding into the Barracks along with his other coup plotters ready to put their lives down to save their country from the hands of the President of the day. I remember being in a church hall when news of his demise reached us, the people erupted into glee which the Pastor felt was very unbecoming. I guess it sums up how people felt about Abacha and his leadership, something that Lara portrays very well in her book.
The characters were likeable although I could picture Eddy more than Nafisha whom I felt was slightly too malleable/compliant for me to immediately warm to. Innocent and very sweet and unworldly, she is still trying to find herself in the new world she finds herself. Lara takes us on a journey through Nafisah’s life from her sad adolescence, the desire to want to love and be loved, the loss of her mother and being rescued by the man who becomes her hero. Eddy becomes her hero, her lover, her lost family, her mentor and everything all rolled into one and losing him would have put her in a very terrible predicament.
While the setting of the story is different, I wish it could have delved more into military stuff, kept us in a bit more suspense, got Eddy involved in some dangerous assignments maybe even imprisoned to spend a few weeks or months in the infamous Kiri -Kiri – maybe even saved from the firing squad – just to create more tension. Maybe it could have even got into the mystery and intrigue/adventure genre – something new for stories set in Africa, who knows?
All ends well and they find love together which not only wraps up a well told romance, but also an interesting reminder at what it was like in the country back in those precarious days.
Well done Lara.