The Church Girl 1 – A Book Review

Thanks to the covid 19 lockdown, I was finally able to have the needed free time to rummage through my bookshelf for some books I had always wanted to read but never had the sufficient time to do so.

One of such books was The Church Girl. I was delighted to still have the autographed copies, which I had erroneously assumed had been ‘borrowed’ off the shelf.

The texts in the following paragraphs are my humble attempt at reviewing the book.

About The Book

The Church Girl 1 is about Mary, an orphaned teenager who was saddled with the enormous task of fending for herself and her three siblings.

She soon felt that life had given her more responsibilities than she could shoulder alone. But who would help her out?

Books by Ufuomaee

In her quest for some financial help, she approached her pastor, a very popular man of God in town.

But this unscrupulous pastor took advantage of Mary’s vulnerability by extracting an agreement from her that she would meet the pastor’s ‘needs’ in exchange for whatever financial support he would provide for her.

That marked the beginning of a covert intimate relationship between the 16-year old girl and the pastor, which lasted for the next six years…

Unfortunately, this type of situation often plays out in real life in some our churches’ leaderships, where some so-called men of God do immorrally take advantage of their innocent members.

But sexual sin should not be condoned amongst the clergy. Wherever such exists, I think there should not be cover-ups any more.

Let the truth be made known and let justice prevail, where necessary.

What happened to Mary?

All hell was let loose after Mary met Ifeanyi whom she thought could be the man of her dreams and more. But just when she was being introduced to the would-be suitor’s family, she was discovered to be pregnant for the randy pastor Bolaji.

About the same period, although now newly born again, Ifeanyi’s past began to hunt him; to his dismay, he found out that his ex girlfriend was expecting his baby.

And this other girl was poised to spoil the show for him by all means…

How did Mary and Ifeanyi navigate through these awkward situations?

Did they get to fulfill their burning desires to be joined as man and wife?

Or did they painfully go their separate ways?

What happened to pastor Bolaji? Was he exposed?

What about Ifeanyi’s ex, Ijeoma? Was she able to scheme her way back to Ifeanyi’s life? Or was she destined to be with another man?

The answers to these questions formed the intrigues that vividly played out on the pages of the book.

My favourite character

Unlike in other books by the same author that I previously reviewed, I could not choose a favourite character from The Church Girl 1.

There were things to learn from each of the characters but quite honestly I couldn’t make up my mind on whom to confer the award of the favourite character.

About the Author

Ufuoma Emerhor-Ashogbon
Ufuomaee – Author of The Church Girl 1&2

The Church Girl 1 is another Christian genre classic contribution from beautiful Ufuomaee.

You will remember her if you have been a long time reader of this blog because I have also reviewed some of her books in the past.

Ufuomaee is also the author of The House Girl and Perfect Love  and the prolific writer of the blog, Grace and Truth.

Final thoughts

The Church Girl 1 was written in a simple, easy to read and understand narrative. It has plenty of life’s lessons that could be learned from it, especially from a Christian worldview.

Therefore, I will not hesitate to recommend it to everyone, especially to young adults and parents.


Thank you for reading!

You can share your own thoughts in the comment section.

The House Girl – A Book Review

Books by Ufuomae

Quite recently, I ordered a copy of The House Girl, alongside two other titles by the same author. It was a privilege to have the mentioned books autographed and delivered to my door-step by the author herself.

During my meeting with the author, I had promised her that I would read the books and give her a review. (In case you missed it, you may read From a Blog friend to a true life friend, being the post I used to share my face to face meeting with the author on that fateful day).

What follows in this post will be my review of the first of the three books I purchased from her stable which I have read completely so far. Subsequent reviews will follow once I have finished reading the other titles.

Ufuomaee, the brilliant author of  The House Girl,  is “a young professional, a social entrepreneur and the Founder/CEO of Fair Life Africa Foundation, a charity that supports under-privileged children” in Nigeria. She is the author of Ufuoma series blog where she shares about her faith in God, and also writes “Christian romantic fiction, with lots of drama and scandal, that challenges all to think about their lifestyle and choices.”

Her blog is worthy of your visit or follow if you are interested in reading very insightful posts on faith, life and living.

About The House Girl.

The book is about a village girl who was taken to Abuja city to work as a domestic staff for a rich interracial married couple who have also promised to send her to school. While in the employ of the family, the girl discharged her house-duties as expected. But much time passed and she wasn’t registered in any school as promised to her parents.

That made the girl to feel very unhappy and this caught the attention of the man of the house. As a result, both of them began to have short but secret conversations that made them more familiar with each other. Soon enough they each began to have unholy ideas…

With their hearts burning for each other already, “all that restrained them from doing what they both desired to do was self-will and self-control. And that thing called conscience.” But they could only hold out for a little while, as it did not take long before the spirit of lust took the better part of the duo, leading to numerous consensual sexual encounters between them.

Unsurprisingly, the madam of the house soon began to suspect that there was something clandestine going on between her maid and and her husband. It was only a matter of time before her worst suspicions were validated and the aftermath shook her marriage to it’s deepest foundations.

Thankfully, in the end, the marriage narrowly survived from the brink of complete collapse. But not until after all the parties involved in the unfolding drama had been to hell and back.

In more ways than one, I found the book easy to read and the characters largely credible.  Anyone who reads the book objectively will admit that that the personalities represented by each of the characters are ‘things’ that are not so far-fetched in whatever society we may find ourselves.

Ufuoma E Ashobon's books
Victor with Ufuomaee, proudly displaying some of the books authored by her.

The main characters

Each of the characters, just like any mortal alive, has his or her strengths and weaknesses. And it is how they are managed that determines the results or consequences.

For the protagonist, Chinyere, as vulnerable as she was, she could be considered a victim of her own circumstances. At the same time, it may not be wrong for one to say that she was all too willing to engage in unwholesome canal encounter with the man of the house.

For a teenage girl whom it was implied was without a previous experience in that area, she could have exercised a bit of constraints – may be out of fear or respect, but she didn’t. So instead of one saying that Chinyere was taken advantage of by Donald, the man of the house, one can  safely say that she was a willing participant in igniting the fire that almost completely engulfed her life and existence.

Donald, although a seeming gentleman became overcame by lust and exercised no sustained power of restraint in cheating on his wife  again and again… May be that’s one of the consequences of his never having to acknowledge that there is a God to whom we are all accountable to.

Besides, even though he claimed he didn’t plan on cheating on his wife with their house maid, he shamefully admitted to “not being strong enough to resist [the beautiful] temptation” under the same roof with him.

The emotional and mental trauma, bribery, blackmail and risk of imprisonment that followed Donald’s misadventure remind everyone that our actions have consequences.  And infidelity, like the Bible points out, is like fire. You cannot put it in your bosom and expect not to be burnt (Proverbs 6:27).

As for Osinachi, the madam of the house, at a point she was more or less an absentee wife. Her frequent trips outside the home contributed in creating the vacuum that her husband exploited to begin cheating on her with the house maid.

She also made some avoidable choices that blew up in her face. For instance, in her desperate bid to become a mother after she could not  carry a baby to full term, she went on a misguided  journey of adopting a child without her husband’s consent, leading to a further alienation from him.

Even after the husband had accepted the new reality of becoming a dad by force (thanks to his wife’s desperation), the adoption was later reversed contrary to their expectation and they found themselves back to square one.

Couples should endeavour to agree on issues of strategic importance in the family. If either party goes solo on such issue, it may not augur well for them at the end.

My favourite character

If I were to choose a favourite character in the book, it would have to be Mrs. Oji, Osinachi’s mum. I like the way she put things in proper perspective for her daughter, when she was seriously heart-broken over her husband’s serial infidelity.

I consider her advice and pep-talk as one of the key things that empowered Osinachi to fight to save her marriage.

“If you don’t know God for yourself…,” said Mrs Oji to her heart-broken daughter, “If you are not walking in His will, how can you lead another to Him? You are in this situation first because of your own sin! When you address that and learn from God what His will is, then you can make corrections in your life. Whether or not your marriage survives is secondary! You just have to get right with God, Osinachi.”

It was this friendly hard-knock that jolted Osinachi to reality.  At that moment, she came to realise that “She has been practicing religion all these years; she didn’t know God for herself. No wonder her life could not influence her husband’s.”

Mrs Oji might have been advising her daughter over her husband. But I feel many wives around the world who love their husbands and want to save their marriages could use her other advice too: “Don’t relent in praying for him. Don’t stop forgiving him. Don’t hold back love and respect for him.”

Final thoughts

In  The House Girl, the author did a good job in telling a relatable story in such a way that vivid life lessons can be drawn from it. Each character presents a different angle to the lessons of life that can be gleaned from the book.

I found that that the following themes were covered in the book: The vulnerability of the girl child (especially the one from a less privileged background) to sexual exploitation, making an interracial marriage work, issues around child-bearing, challenges with child adoption, teenage pregnancy, living with a mental health issue, secrecy in marriage, love and commitment, forgiveness, personal relationship with God, role of parents in-law in saving a troubled marriage, rape, infidelity, blackmail, bribery, to mention but a few.

I liked reading the book and I would not hesitate in recommending it to you as well. I think that irrespective of one’s age or experiences in life, anyone that reads that books will definitely find a lesson or two to draw from it for personal application.

In closing, I will leave you with the following quotes from the book:

“It takes strength to give grace to others.”

“We are only as strong as our minds, not even our bodies.”

“We have to make sure we are working in faith and obedience if we want God’s best.”

“In service to others and in simplicity, there is so much joy to be found in life.”

“Never close the book on anyone, nor underestimate what you or anyone can be[come] tomorrow.”

“Never miss an opportunity to make impact in some one else’s life. Even if they never pay it back, they will pay it forward through the contribution they will make in the world.”

“Do not be afraid to challenge the system you enter. Do not be afraid to be the difference. All life is growth and change and you are the change the world is waiting for.”

***

The House Girl is available for purchase on Amazon.


©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne