Book title: Love Like A Woman and Other
Author: Razinat T Mohammed
Publisher: Kraft Books Limited
Reviewer: Adeniyi Taiwo Kunnu
The human heart is as deep as complex, and when it comes to matters of the woman heart, the discourse takes a unique turn in need of careful attention.
Razinat Mohammed in this work, ‘Love Like a Woman and other stories’, examines the multifarious fictional realities in the lives of different women, deftly navigating the planes of marriage, religion, culture and the vicissitudes that affect other lives.
With 11 stories in 120 gripping pages, the reader could never be left the same way because the pieces contained in one piece get one acquainted with the not-too-often examined daily or lifetime experiences of people. If only we knew the much we should, as someone once said, we would have done more to make the world better than we have it now.
From the first story, Razinat simply conveys delicious incidences and at times unsavoury glitches in ‘fine’ vocabulary. ‘Something to Live For’ gives needed premonition which later comes to the fore in the other stories.
Afi, hungry and tired descended into another realm which reveals her experiences as a woman married off against her will.
Failing in her bid to commit suicide and having been rescued by a stranger, her life continues for a brief moment in lonely forest. Razinat employs the stream of consciousness technique, demonstrating how often times we keep our fears at the subconscious, but present to the world the side which fits men’s acceptance.
Importantly, Afi chooses the real world where her torrid relationship with her spouse could not prevent her from getting back to the one person in her family where her only love still remains.
She could leave every other thing and move on with her life, but in this instance; the propelling force of love keeps her in. Her memories of Efida can wait, while the painful face-off with Uduma must be shrugged off. ‘Sterile Water’ takes the reader on another fictional journey in realistic representation.
Kulu’s life depicts one whose existence is enmeshed in destructive poverty. In a family of five children, jobless husband and offensive cultural practice which are obviously unfavourable to the plight of the mother who toils but gets incommensurate returns.
This is a creative output which addresses, not only an area of general concern, but specific cultural distastes.
The third story, which also doubles as the title of the collection is ‘Love Like a Woman…’ takes this narrative a notch higher. Dije bears the burden of love by giving her life to a man whose mental state defies immediate or remote remedy.
The story describes the height of one’s love characterised by ‘ultimate sacrifice’, and in this wise it is a woman giving her life, having first lost the life of the unborn to the violence of a mentally unstable man. In “Laila”, Razinat gives new perspec tive to the weighty concerns of an erstwhile divorcee.
Overwhelmed by the stigma associated with being unmarried on the one side and the fear of being out of a second marriage of three months on the other, Laila contends with the disrespectful gateman in her new home, the pressured facilities, step-children rivalry, perceptions by the older wife and ultimately her sexual preferences.
The author keeps readers’ taste buds watered with “The U-Turn”. Here, a woman also finds herself on the receiving end of the pugilist.
A husband-to-be; a beautiful prospect in a daughter in-law; a dotting mother-in-law and the Achilles Heels of being overweight all come together causing flurry of emotions. So, when England came to Nigeria in the hope of a damsel, Sam got a shocker in eve’s daughter who has indulged beyond measure in ‘fatteners’.
In summary, Mary Rose does not have the Knight in any shining armour as hers. He, back to England, while the consolatory words of her mother in-law does nothing to change Sam’s mind.
“Beasts on Rampage” is another delicious read which queries the sanity of allowing the wild dwell amongst the urbane. There are circuses where wild animals are on display for fun, but having these carnivorous mammals in neighbourhoods gets a thumb down here.
Mohammed weaves her words around the humanity in people, touching on the unjust treatment of the average in society and arrives its zenith with the distaste that underlie her fictive presentation. She sure makes the reader wonder but in a maze of reading experiences.
‘One Good Turn’ is one of morality…, of a home gone apart…. of a child turned out and left on the streets…, of a father bereft of needful values and love and subsequent degeneration but eventual redemption of a dear life.
This story x-rays parents and parenting, while also exploring peer influences and workings around it. “Official Touts” rounds off this collection, and this story picks holes in the often mentioned fake police experiences. This piece regales readers with the stop and search on the roads by police and the check point experiences. A travelling family that parts with cash and kind; and then in turn receives some ‘change’ from the money stolen from them gets the reader’s needful attention.
This is an eye opener to stepping up the game in terms of security so as to keep men of the underworld on their toes.
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