Reviews

Reviews

BEYOND THE DISTANT CLOUDS
Omolaiye, Ngozi
AuthorHouse (188 pp.)
$30.51 hardcover,
$18.24 paperback,
$3.99 e-book
ISBN: 978-1481798198;
June 25, 2013

Omolaiye’s debut novel offers a cautionary tale about people acting on impulse and refusing to confront their weaknesses.

The complications of love and loyalty run deep in this rich story set in Lagos, Nigeria. The three characters at the core of the story—Donald; his distant wife, Shirley; and his dear friend and potential love interest, Tife—share intense ties, as well as the power to destroy one another. Donald struggles to hold on to his marriage despite Shirley’s frequent absences and flimsy excuses. His work life is similarly fraught with tension, as the oil company he works for fails to find new resources. Shirley leaves him on his own for large periods of time with only Tife to assist with the children. Although Donald is like a brother to Tife—he took care of her when she lost her family—his platonic and tender love for her soon shifts into something much more romantic, and he eventually tilts the balance of their friendship, and his marriage, with a stolen kiss. As Donald and Tife’s connection deepens, it’s revealed that Shirley’s trips actually relate to spiritual explorations, not an affair—but, by then, the damage has been done, and Donald learns the price of jumping to conclusions. Shirley, Donald and Tife’s saga, told in a straightforward manner, is an honest look at how selfishness can be toxic to happiness. Over the course of the story, each character faces a tough choice, and the consequences of his or her actions serve as instructive lessons on how to approach life’s challenges; indeed, this work is more than just an engaging read—it’s also a thought-provoking and instructive moral lesson. The author provides her own, personal perspective at the novel’s conclusion, as well as discussion questions.

A dramatic story of a love triangle that delves into the darker parts of the human heart.