Thursday, April 7, 2011

Book Spotlight: Dark Patches by Azuka Thomson

Meet Ndidi, the high school teacher and adoring wife. Blissfully married for seven years, a single question brings her world crashing down.

Grant, Ndidi’s loving husband, is his mother’s only child. Unable to stand up to his relatives, he devises a plan to keep his family together.
Omorose, Grant’s mother, is determined to leave no stones unturned in her quest for more grandchildren, even if it means spiritual intervention.

Josephine is no ordinary second wife. Selfish, manipulative and troublesome, she does not intend to share Grant with Ndidi, so she starts an evil campaign with horrifying consequences.

As each of them make sacrifices for the sake of a common goal, ruthless bids for power unleash sinister forces of catastrophic proportions….


Read an excerpt!

“Ndidi, please come and sit down with us,” said Uncle Agadagba. “We have a message for you from the village.”


Surprised, Ndidi walked back to the sitting room and took one of the vacant seats available. As she did so, she realised that the visitors were occupying the couch while her husband was sitting on the single chair next to Uncle Agadagba.

Consequently, she was forced to sit across from them. For a moment it nearly seemed as if they were purposely aligning themselves against her. But Grant would never join anyone against her, she reasoned. So Ndidi tried to smile at them but they were all watching her solemnly, except Grant who was contemplating the carpet. Her smile dimmed as she sensed trouble. They did not keep her waiting.

As the oldest in the group, Pa Ewuru cleared his throat and began.

“Ndidi, we all know that your husband loves you very much and when he married you, we accepted you into the family with open arms. We also know that you are a loving and loyal wife to your husband and that is why we understand his attempt to ignore our traditions and culture.

“Our forefathers told us that any man who gets all his children from the same woman is regarded as the father of only one child. In the days when everyone respected tradition, every Bini man married many wives so he could have many children. These days, some educated people see nothing wrong in a man getting all his children from the same woman. Most of them blame this attitude on lack of money and usually, our elders try not to interfere in the matter.

“Your case, Ndidi, is however an exception. As you know, Osahon is the only surviving son of his father and you have been married to him for more than seven years. In all that time, you have given birth to only one daughter who is nearly five years old. We do not blame you for this situation but the elders cannot sit idly by and watch Osahon waste his energies. He is almost forty years old and time is not on his side. He needs to father more sons and daughters.
“The elders have therefore sent us to seek your cooperation in getting a second wife for Osahon. The decision on how to proceed in this matter is in your hands and we want to hear from you.”

Every word spoken by Pa Ewuru stuck like a sharp knife in Ndidi’s heart. By the end of the speech she was in so much physical pain that she glanced at her chest expecting to see blood. Surprised at the absence of blood, she looked up at her attackers. The three men were staring at the floor. Only her mother-in-law continued to watch her. Ndidi did not say anything because she could not say what she really felt. She felt insulted and wronged and would have liked to ask them to leave her house. But this was Nigeria and she was dealing with her “Bini” in-laws. Only her husband could defend her.
So why is he staring at the carpet and saying nothing? She wondered as she continued to look at him.

Grant’s mother was very pleased with the way her plan was working out. She glanced at her son and noted with satisfaction that he was obeying the elders’ instructions not to interfere. It was time for the little “Erue ahusa ”(bed bug) to know that she did not own Grant. Ndidi had to know her place and a second wife was just the thing. Moreover, Omorose really did need more grandchildren. Grant was her only child and she had so looked forward to having many grandchildren. She was not about to allow Grant’s love for this foolish girl to destroy her dream. No sir, she would see to that.

She looked back at Ndidi and saw her still staring stupidly at Grant.

“Ndidi,” she chided, “we are not asking Grant to throw you out. We are only asking him to take a second wife who will bear him more children. So stop staring at him and give us an answer.”

When Grant still did not come to her defence, Ndidi knew that the battle was already lost. She tried anyway.

“Uncle, I thank you and the elders for your concern over our welfare.” She began in a low and quavering voice. “Grant and I have only this one child because we planned it so. We are spacing our children to enable us to give them our full attention. We shall have more children when the time is right. Moreover, at twenty-seven, I am still very young and there is nothing wrong with me. I fully expect to bear more children for my husband and therefore see no reason for this . . .”

“Ndidi,” cut in her mother-in-law, “you can expect all you like but your expectations are not in discussion here. The issue is that your husband needs another wife to bear him children. Even if you are able to have more children in future, it will only increase the number. We are sure that my son can take good care of you all.”

At this point, Ndidi appealed directly to Grant. “Husband,” she asked softly, “what do you say?”

Read the reviews!

"Dark Patches is highly emotional and informative. It tells the story of a Nigerian couple, Ndidi and Grant, who have only one daughter. Grant’s family forces a second wife into their matrimonial home on the grounds that tradition supports polygamy in order for a man to have many children.



As to be expected in this obnoxious set-up, jealousy, greed, and lust for power lead to all sorts of witchcraft with calamitous results.


This vivid and highly emotional story may be fiction, but it is highly believable. It also teaches us, especially the 'Grants', a lesson in self-determination.


I could not put it down until I finished it. Two thumbs up!!"

--Otiti Jasmine Ovue whorie – reader

"Hmm!!! A book, 244 pages, that screams 'don’t put me down when you want to sleep.' Beautiful."

Gregory I. Om’Iniabohs – reader

"This book is a great read. Showing both a modern and dark side of Africa, Azuka wonderfully tells a tale of a husband and wife caught in a horrible dilemma and how their different backgrounds and traditions try to pull them apart. This book also shows the strange link that black magic and Christianity still have in parts of the Nigerian culture. Great storytelling. Can’t wait for her second novel!"

English Teacher

Purchase from these Amazon sites:

http://www.amazon.de/Dark-Patches-Azuka-Thomson/dp/3837207633/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books-intl-de&qid=1297197255&sr=1-1
http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Patches-Azuka-Thomson/dp/3837207633/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1297197345&sr=1-1

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dark-Patches-Azuka-Thomson/dp/3837207633/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1297197458&sr=8-1

Azuka Thomson graduated from the University of Benin in Nigeria with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and later obtained a master’s degree from the University of Lagos. She worked as a consulting engineer for many years in Nigeria before relocating to Germany.



She has three daughters and lives with her husband in Leverkusen


Dark Patches is her first novel.
You can visit Azuka Thomson at:


http://www.facebook.com/pages/Azuka-Thomson-Dark-Patches/116641701734714


2 comments:

Farrah said...

I'm soon to begin reading this book and I look forward to reading it.

V.R. Leavitt said...

Ohhh! Sounds like a very exciting read. Right up my alley. Thanks for sharing it with us Cheryl. Good luck with the book Azuka!