Title: DAZZLING MIRAGE
Author: OLAYINKA ABIMBOLA EGBOKHARE
Publisher: Loud Book Publishers
Year of Publication: 2007
I have had the opportunity of reading this novel, a first by Yinka Egbokhare, and would like to reflect on both its significance and the quality of the imagination which produced the text.
The narrative is clear, fluid and without unnecessary gilding which might impede the understanding of the message and the enjoyment of the story as story. The novel revolves around the precarious life of a young and promising career woman who is anaemic and who must bear all the stigma associated with the condition called Sickle Cell disease in an African society.
Dazzling Mirage is the story of Funmiwo, the adoptive daughter of the Adebayos, the story of her travails and triumphs against the odds of physical pains and psychological traumas which she experienced in the journey towards self-fulfillment. Frail in body but full of spirit and talent, Funmiwo represents the several thousands of sickle cell patients who live in hope; the parallel reference to the life of another anemic character.
Adeolu, is a sign of the necessary bonding and sharing that is possible in the community. Also, by describing the proactive life of the main character, in her involvement in the “Sicklers’ Incorporated”, the author is apparently showing that life is only possible when one is filled with the spirit to live.
The novel is about different kinds of love, marked by acts of betrayal and loyalty. Although Funmiwo experienced deep confusion and trauma in her relationship with Sanya and his mother, she would be lifted on the wings of true love into the arms of Dotun Atoyebi and his family who shared both dreams and nightmare with her.
The author succeeds in producing a very realistic tale of loving and faith in an emotively rational style that only a trained and investigative mind can manage. I suspect that in composing her narrative, Egbokhare took time to understudy the challenging world of the sickle celler; but instead of reducing the medical information to mere data, the author produces a very moving tale that challenges received myths about SS in a hard, superstitious, indifferent, and calculating environment.
Let me add that in enjoying reading this novel, I also gained other information about the medical condition commonly known as Sickle Cell Disease. This is a story worth telling, and is told well.
— Remi Raji (November 2007)
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