Book Title: A Love Rekindled
Author: Myne Whitman
Published: Createspace, March 2011
Type: US Trade 6X9 Paperback; EBook
Price: $11.99; $2.99
Status: Widely available for purchase.
A Love Rekindled, like Myne's first novel, is a contemporary romance set in Nigeria, and like in A Heart to Mend, she does a thorough job of bringing the settings to life. Myne brings an impressive amount of detail and research to her descriptions of work life in Abuja and university life in Benin so that the reader is readily transported into the story. The most noticeable feature of this story is how it is split into two narratives; one set in the present day Abuja, Nigeria, the other set ten years before while Efe is still in university in Benin.
The university narrative moves quite slowly at the start, describing the budding relationship between Kevwe and Efe. The Abuja narrative, in contrast, plunges directly into the emotional conflict that both protagonists have to deal with. The split narrative takes some getting used to, but it actually works quite well, especially because in many cases, the present narrative looks back to the past, and it gives the reader a fresher perspective on the events of the present.
One feature of the split narrative that appears to be a drawback is that in many cases, the events of the past narrative are foreshadowed by events in the present. However, the strength of the novel is the emotional journey that the author takes the reader on. Myne Whitman creates a sympathetic picture of both Kevwe and Efe, showing their innermost feelings as they interact with each other and with others who are not so favorably disposed towards their relationship.
She deftly weaves both stories together, showing them alternately falling in love by gentle degrees, and then struggling desperately to regain that love they once had. And ultimately, in the final third of the novel, she brings the narratives to a dramatic crescendo as she shows not only the searing heartbreak that betrayal can bring, but more importantly, for hearts torn apart by such heartbreak, the power of love to heal.