Book Review: SHADOWS AND NOTHINGS By Tony Nwaka

-Blank NEWS Online (NIGERIA)

BOOK REVIEWER; NKECHI MADUEMEZIA

Shadows of pain
Shadows of gain
Shadows of despair
Shadows of repair
Shadows and nothings

Shadows of love
Shadows of hate
Shadows of today
Shadows of yester years
Shadows and nothings

Shadows I see in life circle
Shadows, whenever and wherever
Shadows we experience
For all in life
IS Shadows and nothings

TITLE OF BOOK; SHADOWS AND NOTHINGS
AUTHOR; TONY NWAKA

INTRODUCTION ON THE AUTHOR;
Dr. Tony Felix Nwaka is a Nigerian author from delta state. He is also the author of ‘’Mountain of yesterday’’ Mr. Benjamin’s Pen and Lords of the creek. He lives in Asaba , Delta State of Nigeria
PLACE OF PUBLICATION; kraft Books limited. 6A polytechnic road, Sango Ibadan, Box 22084 University of Ibadan post office, Ibadan. Oyo state. Nigeria.

PUBLISHER; KRAFT BOOKS LIMITED
DATE OF PUBLICATION; 2019

The front of the back cover is charcoal in colour with a portrait of a beautiful lady who is either sleeping or day dreaming. The back cover of the book is grey cascading into a fairer version of the beautiful lady at the front back cover including the author’s portrait.
The book Shadows and Nothing is a fiction series that comprises of 261 pages, a prologue, epilogue and eighteen chapters. The prologue and epilogue are letters to the main character (Julius) from his ex – girl friend called Evelyn.

THEME OF THE BOOK; ROMANCE
In love and Romance many people make mistakes of not knowing what they want due to hearsays. A woman trades in a better husband material for a boyfriend and sometimes a man trades in a good wife material for a girlfriend and lives with the pain of HAD I KNOWN. Forces around like parents, relatives and friends sometimes mar marriages and relationships if both parties involved cannot stand through thick and thin and stay firm for their love. In romance and Love we have winners and losers for all is fair in love and Romance.

BACKGROUND
Shadows and Nothings is a full length work literary fiction work on the theme Romance which is human nature. We have an insight into the love gone sour and a new love life of the protagonist (Julius) from a wedding ceremony. Julius does not like wedding ceremonies, but he has to be present on this occasion as the bride is the sister of his best friend. The party turns out to be more than Julius expected and he finds himself hopelessly drawn to another guest at the ceremony. Knowing nothing of the troubles tearing her world apart. Julius relentlessly pursues the enchanting Lauretta until he cracks the walls that circumstances have erected around her. But just when Lauretta begins to put her hope in the redemptive power of Julius love, the glimmer on the horizon is blighted by an old flame from his own equally unsavoury past flickering to life and casting shadows on the future they have dared to believe in.
Will Julius succumb to the frailty of human nature? Will they ever be together or will their future be destroyed by the evil threatening within and without him? Will he listen to the counsel of friends or lean to the promptings of his heart? In the end will Julius go the way of others?

PLOT:

The story begins with a prologue written as a letter terminating a relationship. This gave way to the main story. The main character is now a very successful man though single and in search of a better half. The reader is allowed into Julius deep rooted anger from a betrayed love in the person of an ex- girlfriend called Evelyn. Evelyn left Julius and married Fabian who she later divorced and came running back to Julius with hope when she knelt down and held his hand saying’ Julius I know you hate me now. Yes I thoroughly deserve your contempt. I was young and foolish. I haven’t found peace ever since. Since I left you. Please find it in your heart to forgive me. There’s no man that can give me the joy and happiness you gave me. I’m sorry Julius I love you more than you’ll ever know. Please forgive me so that I can know peace again ‘. Because she wants to come back into his life. The plot further unfolds the new girl called Lauretta whose father is a former Governor and the turbulences they both faced in their lives. The anti- climax of the novel was when Julius said these words and I quote’ but as I said, rather than run for dear life at the slightest indication of turbulence, I’ll hold on to the light of love, for it will always dispel the fears of those shadows that are really nothing’.

CHARACTERIZATION:
The characters in this work are very normal people we come across every day. These characters complement our day to day living. The father of Lauretta {Ebunoluwa} a former governor a formidable personality Chief Oni Alaba portrays so much wisdom filled with words of advice’ I have tried to render accounts as simply and as straightforward as possible so that the bitter reality may not be lost in a splash of poetic embellishments. These and many other humiliating treatments I got from people to whom I had rendered significant assistance were some of the things that caused me to harden my heart toward any person that came to me for favours. Unfortunately I didn’t know when I began to take callousness beyond the bounds of inhumanity.’……….’ my son, always remember that no bird stays permanently in flight. Work towards charity and purity of thought, for in such sublime vocations of mortal man, the soul is elevated from mud to the penthouse’…………..’ let your opinions and actions be guided by truth and moral conscience, no matter the circumstances. it’s better to speak and work for a place of honour in posterity than bask in the eulogy of a transient crowd. Other characters both major and minor are also unique in their own way.

SETTING AND MODE OR TONE:

Filled with anxious moments, apprehensive and sometimes irritating. Edobor who is Julius friend and knows about the two ladies in his life showed a superstitious side and protective side when Lauretta gave a wristwatch worth $10,000.0 to Julius had this to say’ this lady must have spent a fortune on this. It is important and urgent we know who she is…………….. Honestly, I still keep having a creepy feeling about the whole thing, an ominous air of something evil about to happen. My brother if I were you not minding ………….. I won’t wear this watch again until I get a priest to sprinkle some Holy water or anointing oil on it. Any lady who goes to this length for a guy must be serious. Never mind one we haven’t confirmed to be human.’ But it ended in a beautiful way which is typical of a TONY NWAKA novel.

VIEW POINT:
From the eyes of Julius, the major and minor characters believed that Lauretta was shrouded in mystery but Julius stood his ground, especially in his answerer to morayo. ‘Believe me I never gave heed to all that superstition. I’ve always known that, ultimately, the spirit of love would overcome. Whatever arrows the force of life throws at two souls that are genuinely bonded in mutual affection’, he get his reward in Lauretta when she spoke these words’ thank you honey, I like the ring. I knew no one else could have put the ring on my finger. Yes, I will marry you, Juls. I will marry you in this world and the next world to come.i will be with you forever Juls’

STLYE OF WRITING DICTION; the writing style is free and flowery. Easy to read and understand. Very entertaining.

COMPARISON; it can be compared with ‘ EVBU , MY LOVE’ in the pacesetters series of Macmillan’s written by Helen Oviaghele and TOADS FOR SUPER written by chukwuemeka IKE .

RELATION TO THE THEME; the theme is of romance and love gives a broad view of the good, bad and ugly sides of love. The winners and losers and the danger of uncherished love. Real love thrown away is like opportunity and flies away when not captured.

EVALUATION; The Epilogue concluded the story by nailing it home. Quoting from the letter I shall drop the pen at this point and retire to the solitude of my wretched life, clinging only to memories of how we once lived, loved and laughed, and dream that never saw the light of days. Take care Julius and goodbye. I rate this an A. it should be used in institutions of higher learning. A delightful and interesting read for lovers of literature.

CONCLUSION
I personally like this book because true love conquered at the end. I leave with this beautiful hymn
O you mist of hour! How my hopes were clouded by
The expanse of your presence!
But I heard the voice of him that redeems;
Who did beseech that I tarry a while
For, shortly, he said, the mist I fear shall be no more

See you not the joy that comes, now the mist is gone?
Yes! Behold the mist is gone
O yes! The mist is gone and now I dwell in joy….

News Reporter
Blank NEWS Online founding Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, Albert Eruorhe Ograka, is a Graduate of Mass Communication. He also holds a Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Journalism from the International Institute of Journalism (IIJ).

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