Musings on love, life and its vicissitudes- A review of “Built for the Storm – Peju Akande
The first impression one gets reading through the first few chapters of Bridget Oyefeso-Odusami’s book is: this is like a “War Room” memoir. You remember the movie, that one with the faithful and ever abiding long suffering housewife?
But in this age of feminism; in an age where women are breaking frontiers and new grounds, you realise, no, this is not War Room; this is no memoir about staying in a marriage/relationship against all odds.
This is a love story; a love story about how love can mutate from little butterflies in the stomach to huge boulders that the carrier/lover continues to carry around selflessly and without regret!
Love is sweet but it can be painful; love forgives, love keeps “no records of wrongs” but more importantly, love grows and when it is rooted in abiding faith, it blossoms like a rose among thorns.
In Built for the Storm: Journeying through Life’s Wounds, Healings and Scars, Bridget Oyefeso-Odusami is basically musing; she is talking to herself and she has actually been talking to herself since that night she got a call for her to come quickly to London to be by her husband after he suffered a stroke…10 long years ago.
Bridget, over the course of the 10 years chronicled in this book realised that talking to herself can be therapeutic. In this book, she “talks” at length about her husband’s illness and how she copes. Bridget “talks” about several issues that pop up when the unexpected happens. She “talks” about her realisation that in caring for the sick, she herself needs help, needs healing to crawl back to life; to show up despite it all.
So the book reads like a long “talk” to a listening ear; she also finds that jogging and rumba dancing are other means of getting relief for her battered emotions, her shredded faith and her wounded self-esteem.
Bridget is conscious of the fact that her husband isn’t the only one who needs healing, she does too as do her children and the words she has written down are meant to encourage herself, a pat on her own back wrought out of alphabets. Hers is a typical case of physician, heal thyself.
While this may read as the author’s musings, never mistake it as a soliloquy. Bridget is also conscious of the fact that other ears are tuned to her musings and are likely to glean a few truths from her journey; so she uses anecdotes, analogies, even Bible verses and stories to season her musings. She uses her scars and their reminders to tell us about life, about love, about being a wife, a mother, a career woman and one determined to be herself regardless of her circumstances.
The autobiography touches on marriage or if you like living with a partner who has an illness; it talks about commitment to one’s spouse or partner and the miracle of raising children and building a career in the midst of it all.
Bridget’s musings are personal vignettes that touch on the origin of her being and her life’s lessons which might then lead you to ask yourself, why should I pick up this book? Why should I read it? I have no sick husband/wife or child for that matter. I have no relationship with anyone…oh but you do.
So long as there is one soul, one human being dependent on you, so long as there is a friend, a colleague, a family member who might be facing a challenge, so long as there will someday come a season when everything changes for you without reason… you need to pick up a copy of this deeply affecting book.
***Built for the Storm: Journeying through Life’s Wounds, Healings and Scars is available on Amazon, Kindle read only), Okada books, Bamboo books and Roving Heights.