Book Review: ‘On Becoming…’ by Toke Makinwa
When my friend Sophia (@Mwinkumblog.wordpress.com) sent me this book, my first impression from the prologue and the first chapter was: “This is such a sad book!” but as I kept reading, I realized that it wasn’t as sad as it was interesting. Then it was hard to put it down.
The story is set in Nigeria, and was told by the main character, from Toke’s persective. I don’t know if it’s her use of the present tense, or the fact that I can relate to her emotions and thought process, but reading it was very real experience for me. I use ‘real’ because I could really understand the depths of her affection, affliction, pain, etc… Maybe its because I am intrigued by people, and how they think or how I am moved by life and love stories – but the book was thoroughly genuine.
To begin with, I was thankful when I was done reading –thankful that she shared her story. It was very bold. Some things are worth exposing, because losing that truth, may cost more than everything you have to lose.
The book has 14 chapters. In this order: Confession, Beginning, Loss, Growing Pains, Love, History, Roller Coaster, Hurt, Shame, Her, Faith, Acceptance, Let Go-Let God, and Healing. A brief glance at these chapters, you can tell that she has lived an interesting few years on this earth. She started (at least in chapter 2) from the very early parts of her life, when she lost her parents, and I think it was a good foundation to the book. It showed that she was more than one man – or better said, more than the men she met or was with.
Chapter 10 was dubbed ‘Her’. And it consists of 6 blank pages. I don’t know what she meant by that but I like to think that at that point, she had nothing left in her and so, wiped her slate clean. The very next chapter was titled “Faith”. Again, I don’t know what the original intention was, but this is how I understood it: after you admit to yourself that you have nothing or that you are nothing without God, you will be able to find yourself or find peace.
I kept going back to different portions to re-read and understand certain actions and reactions. I read this book sometime in December last year, and I have only been able to bring myself to finish the book review. It just didn’t add up! Honestly! Toke’s life story proves the adage “Love is blind”. Prior to this, I strongly advocated that infatuation is what makes you blind, but really – can infatuation be consistent for 14 YEARS??? I think she did the right thing by giving Maje (the man around whom her woes revolved – you should read the book) the benefit of the doubt for so long. Even the Bible says: love never gives up, love never loses faith, love is always hopeful and endures through every circumstance. (1st Corinthians 13 NLT) Toke’s really endured. Trust!
I would go into a lot of detail, but I think you should read this book and I don’t want to spoil it for you… it is an eye-opener. Its less than 100 pages, guys… you should read it.
Reading the book was an experience. I will give it the personal title: “On becoming… whole”.