HOPE HAS SET US FREE (Review of Dappled Things by Iweka Kingsley)

A look at the teal coloured cover with its design that looked dotted animal cells gave nothing away. It convinced me that I had to read it to find out what it was about, since even its title was a little enigmatic. A publication of Partridge books, Dappled Things is a 150 paged novella that brings me home, made me shed a few tears too. The story is told in simple English which is easy to understand and a clear type, an easy read. I read it through to the end without a break. Dappled Things is a story of selfless love, betrayal, pain, strength and faith; all the things I know and believe.
The story starts on a pitiable note with the Sullivan’s who at first are in front of the TV set till the family head mars the mood with his drunken folly. He puts his family through a lot and he changes their life in ways that would have broken them had they been weaklings. Theirs is a story that inspires me, hope. Claire’s strength of character is clearly evident in the way she handled her household. She refused to let her husband, George Sullivan, leave her broken and shrunken with his incessant battery and tries to protect her daughter by sending her off to the boarding house.
I think about her daughter, Cindy, who rose above the darkness that threatened to swamp her after she was raped by a man she trusted; her father. Brian Sullivan was calm through the storm that raged around him, a storm that came in human form. His father. He was not shy nor was he cowardly as he stood up for the women in his life. He ended the life of his father after learning that his sister had been raped by him. Although he could not restore her dignity nor erase the bloodied sheets she had to burn which was testament to her defilement, he made sure he took justice on her behalf when he shot his father to death. He was indeed courageous to stand up for his sister even though it landed him in jail, incarcerated for more than a few short years.
For Cindy’s friend, Maggie, her story is one of loss and grief, betrayal and greed. She loses her ally and brother taking away in turn, her mother’s love. In her bid to get her mother’s love back, she greedily accepts an offer betraying a love that was true to her, Tony. She wastes no time using the advantage to better herself, acquiring a degree in business administration and setting up a business. Her return to Nigeria seems more like an eat-your-cake-and-have-it-kind of scenario as she attempts to get Tony back into her life which eventually sees her plotting a scheme with a stranger landing her in jail. She was given a new lease on life after being in jail for over a year when her prince Charming fought for her release. But, it seems a little far-fetched that as he picks her up from prison he asks her to marry him. Just like that! I know miracles happen but…
Greg was Cindy’s true love and although he was tested by virtually everything, he remained true to her. His half-sister, Sandra, who drove them apart out of her jealousy also unknowingly, brought them back together. It was Ill-fated that the he had a plane crash and was in a coma for about a month as one of the few survivors. Grabbing the opportunity the accident presented, Sandra lied to Cindy that Greg had died in the crash and gives her some money. Cindy uses the money to start a business that eventually brings her in contact with Greg after a year. Sandra, whose designs on her half-brother were incestuous, loses out on everything. Poetic justice!
David on the other hand, proved to be an asset to Cindy. He threw himself into helping her expand her business venture and grew bold enough to dream for more, Cindy’s love. He was realistic to sense that he could not compete with Cindy’s love for Greg, even in ‘death’. His aspirations propelled him.
As a fitting conclusion to this tale, Greg marries Cindy and her brother Brian is pardoned leading to his release. Maggie is set to be maid of honour and would also marry her Tony shortly after her friends’ wedding. Cindy finds courage enough to believe in love, rising above every other obstacle. The two principal young women delved into the innards of their selves for strength to see them through. They came full circle in this poignant, touching story.
However, I highlighted a few errors in the text in form of punctuation and a few spelling errors. Should there be another edition I suggest that these be looked into. On the whole, this green horned author richly depicts an everyday life with the engaging fluidity of veteran authors. He shows that titles do not need to be stacked behind your name for you to be taken seriously.


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