An Enchanting Romance | Review of Chioma Iwunze’s Finding Love Again | by Obinna Udenwe
February 18, 2015
Pub. Date: December 15, 2015. Cassava Republic. 113 pp. Download ebook HERE.
Quality, heart-warming, Nigerian romance fiction is scarce. Most romance novels are written by quarks and published by road-side printers. And they are often difficult to read due to printing and grammatical errors. So imagine how delighted some of us were delighted when Cassava Republic launched six romance titles under a new imprint called Ankara Press—one of which is Finding Love Again by Chioma Iwunze-Ibiam.
Finding Love Again follows the story of Kambi, a 24 year old poet and radio presenter. On the most unlikely day of her life, she experiences the worst kind of heart break—her fiancee runs off into the sunset with her maid of honor on her wedding day. The tragic scene closes with Kambi running away, all drenched in rain, sobbing and dispirited.
Fast-forward ten months. Kambi is in Obudu Mountain Resort, taking her mind off the tragedy but also trying to finished her poetry collection. When she meets Beba, a handsome and wealthy flame from her past, finding love again is the furthest thing from her mind. It’s not like Beba’s life is any less complicated. The thrust of the novel builds up around the outcome of their re-encounter. Will this short trip away from an unforgettable heartbreak and this reunion with a long lost lover lead Kambi to true love?
Finding Love Again is romance fiction in every sense—the handsome groom, the troubled heroine, the steamy romance—but there’s so much intrigue and adventure in it to keep the pages moving fast.
Iwunze’s depictions of Obudu are some of the most memorable moments in the novel. In fact, her portrayal of Obudu should attract a reward from the managers of the ranch.
Finding Love Again has a decidedly African feel. The characters are richly African in their attitudes, conversations, food, and clothing, etcetera. The story is garnished with rich Nigerian setting, taking us to Calabar, Tinapa, Obudu Mountain Resort and Port Harcourt. We even join Beba on a short adventure to South Africa, traveling from Johannesburg to Cape Town.
The novel also sends a much welcome message about appropriate sexual behaviors. Beba’s show of respect and restrain whenever Kambi says “no” should be a lesson to young male readers on focusing more on romance than on sex.
But there are moments when the story seems rushed and the characters put together in haste. For example, it may just be that I’m being a bit of a cynic, but I find it a tad unconvincing that a Nigerian girl would sell an engagement ring and give the money to charity.
Aside from these small shortcomings, Finding Love Again comes highly recommend.
About the Author:
Obinna Udenwe is a prize winning Nigerian writer. He debut novel, a conspiracy thriller titled Satans and Shaitans, was published by Jacaranda last year. His works have appeared in the Kalahari Review, Tribe-write, Flair Magazine, Kadunaboy and in Literary & Travel Magazine. His debut novel, Satans and Shaitans, is set for release in October. When he is not travelling all over the world, he shares his time between Abakaliki and Enugu.