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Thursday 25 August 2011

A Heart to Mend by Myne Whitman

What a charming book this is.

A young girl, Gladys, leaves her hometown to live with her estranged aunt in Lagos to find a good job.  Whilst trying to find her aunt’s house, a mysterious young man, Edward, in a fine car, spots her scrutinising her map and insists on driving her to her destination.  Little does she know that she will bump into him again not long after this chance encounter and that their path to true romance will begin a journey along a rocky route.  Although now a successful businessman, his path to success has been a hard one from harsh beginnings which have had a deep effect on his ability to trust and abandon himself to true love.  Gladys is a sweet, intelligent and trusting young woman, proud of her humble background.  But misunderstandings shake the foundations of their relationship and are then further muddied by Edward’s past when people he once knew set out to ruin his success.

The backdrop of this romance is the world of corporate finance;  the author’s knowledge or if not personal knowledge, meticulous research, is outstanding, so outstanding in fact, that I was a little overwhelmed by the finer detail and found myself eagerly anticipating the scenes between Gladys and Edward.  I loved the gentleness of their romance which develops at a respectable pace.  They are both extremely likeable people and I could not put this book down as I neared the end.    Will Gladys manage to overthrow the attempts of vindictive, money-grabbing businessmen, hell-bent on ruining Edward?  More importantly will her love for him conquer her dismay of his mistrust of her, when he suspects she had a hand in his ruin?  Will he see that she is everything that is good in a person and realise that her goodness will be the key to helping him shed the demons of his past?

I love Myne’s writing style – she is articulate and expressive.  The main characters are well-developed and it’s very easy to become enamoured with Gladys and Edward.  Some of the dialogue is unusual – almost as if English suddenly becomes the author’s second language, unlike the perfect narrative.  I don’t know whether this was intentional or not, to authentically portray the characters in their Nigerian setting, but for me it added to the charm of this wonderful little romance.  Absolutely delightful.

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