Title: Let Girls Dream
Author: Patience May Onaolapo
Subject: Non-Fiction (Inspirational)
Reviewer: Ladi Ayodeji
Publisher: Purple Butterfly Ltd
WISDOM OF LETTING GIRLS DREAM
There’re things to look out for, before a potential reader or buyer picks a book off the shelf: Subject Matter, Print Quality/Packaging, the Back Page summary, and the Profile of the Author.
Patience May Onaolapo didn’t strike me as a published author I have read before, but when I picked up her book, Let Girls Dream, it passed the litmus tests listed in the preceding paragraph.
Next, when I opened the book, which was included in a Christmas present package from her mum, Rev (Dr) Jane Onaolapo, General Overseer of the Lagos – based mega-Church, Abundant Life Gospel Church, I was struck by her preambles, which hinted on what to expect in the book.
In about five pages overall, broken into short pieces of admonitions on her reasons for writing the book, why it is a must-read, the author’s lucid, elegant, epigrammatic prose style caught my attention, and I was immediately inspired to do this review.
Although the author is a full-blooded Nigerian, born in this country, she thinks and writes like an English or British born author. So, she has no problem whatsoever with transliteration. This rare quality helps her deliver her message without any ambiguity.
She begins with suggestions on how to get the most out of Let Girls Dream, like a manufacturer giving instructions in a manual on how to use a new product for maximum benefit. I counsel every reader to follow it as I did. It’s worth the effort. Like the author asked? Who should read this book? And she answers-everyone.
You’d find out in this book that the author uses the technique of the Jews, who ask a question to answer a question. This system succeeds brilliantly because it’s engaging; the reader becomes involved with the dialogue and the lessons therein are internalized as they read on.
The wisdom nuggets in this book suggest that the author has gone through some wilderness experience herself and, like she rightly said while urging parents to read this book, they should teach their children about the lessons learned as nobody gives what they don’t have.
What Patience has is what she gave in this book and from chapter one, it is made quite clear, what a lady needs to have before she ventures into a relationship.
According to the author, a woman must prepare before going into a relationship. This goes beyond physical maturity, experience, grooming, or sexuality. She listed ten major factors necessary for every seeker to get her ready for marriage. These are Joyful submission, being Responsible, Domestic competence, Culinary Skills, Hospitality, Physical appearance, and Hygiene (Grooming), Godly character, Prudence, and Self- sacrifice.
All these factors are the sine qua non for a good marriage. A woman has to submit to her husband in obedience to God’s will, to be able to enjoy a happy marriage, the author pointed out, backing it up with Scripture, like virtually all her key points. Of course, being the daughter of the late founding Bishop of Abundant Life Gospel Church, Bishop Kola Onaolapo we, expect no less.
Under each of the ten factors listed in the opening chapters mentioned in the preceding, she buttressed her points with strong admonitions and detailed, convincing arguments that cannot be controverted. Whether it is about culinary, ability, being hospitable as the lady of the house, the prudential management of the domestic economy or self-sacrifice, every woman must diligently be up and in doing, so as not to imperil her marriage.
For me, this 10-point prerequisites are the core of any successful marriage. And the author did well in balancing issues by giving details in chapter 2, on the ten things to look out for in a suitor. The author reminds us: “Do you go to the grocery store without making a list or having in mind what you want to purchase?” The answer is No! Simple point that can’t be wished away is that, get your check-list close to your chest, it is not a bad idea when looking for Mr. Right.
Apart from all the individual physical attributes we look out for in a man, it is essential for women to check for the more important qualities. Ten of these have been identified by the author.
First and foremost, the suitor must be a God-lover and chaser. Others are unconditional love for you, the guy must be Responsible and hardworking, he should be able and willing to communicate; willing to submit to a spiritual authority, and should be your protector and defender. A potential Mr. Right must have a vision and observe basic hygiene.
These qualities tend to overlap. Both couples should share these qualities, except those peculiar to either partner on gender grounds. The absence of some of these basic attributes in couples is one of the causes of marital strife and eventual disintegration. Most divorce stories are strewn around the deficiencies that this book deals with. The author took time to also write short, but educative expositions under the ten factors listed in chapter2, just like she did in the opening chapter, and other chapters of the book.
She explored the literary skill of using sub-texts to explain points outlined under sub-headings that constitute each chapter. This technique makes the book a pleasant read as it looks like a collection of short, delightful essays on the conjugal relationship, so dear to the human heart.
In chapter 3, under the topic Deal Breakers, or simply put Turn off, she recalls the Dictionary of Contemporary English definition of Deal Breaker as, “Something that makes you decide that you do not want a product, relationship, job, etc., because you cannot accept that part of it”
I think the author defines Deal Breaker more vividly in practical terms. She writes: “deal breakers cause one party of a relationship to withdraw or end the whole deal entirely. It may be the personality a person possesses which makes a relationship a no go, regardless of the other qualities the person may have” (Page 104).
According to the author, having ticked all of the major 20 boxes discussed already, there’re still “some little foxes that spoil the vine”. These are some of the details she discussed in chapter 3. The most important of these issues is parental blessing. Many tend to undermine this vital factor when getting married, and ultimately reap the negative rewards of parental disapproval of a marriage.
Other deal-breakers to look out for are the refusal of a partner to accept criticisms or correction. Some folks are just not teachable. The author warns that you don’t let people like this into your life at all. Largely because of their stubborn spirit, they stifle dialogue in a union, and create a tense atmosphere in a relationship, giving rise to quarrels.
Then, she mentions friendship; an important component in any healthy marriage. Without friendship, there’s no life in marriage. She observes: “if love is the heart of a relationship, friendship is the heartbeat; what is a heart without a beat?” This is one of the many nuggets you’d find in this book.
Finally, she closed chapter 3 with physical and emotional abuse; the twin red lights that a marriage is headed for the rock. Space constraints won’t allow me to dwell much on this topic, suffice to say that the author says that intentional infliction of harm or trauma on another person, is a cruel enough deal-breaker that a potential bride should definitely look to avoid in a life partner.
One needs emotional intelligence to detect certain traits in a future partner. Above all, God’s grace is the ultimate help in these sensitive matters. But there’re other practical, common sense issues like money matters, children, conflict management, privacy, relationships with the opposite sex, etc., which should be negotiated and properly discussed during courtship, as stated in chapter 4.
These issues, she argues, cannot be taken for granted. Before you say, “I do”, you have to deal with these salient points down to the smallest details like house chores, cooking, joint bank accounts, investments, etc., the author warns.
Finally, in chapter 5, the author, Patience May Onaolapo, being a woman herself, tells us how to know you are loved. I’m sure, she writes from experience and this section is worth reading with attention. Ladies, she writes, do not get carried away by the worn-out cliche!” I love you”. Anyone can say that and not mean it.
A man proves he loves a woman by being proud of her, according to the author. Other factors she mentions are commitment to the wife, and being very sympathetic to her cause; being willing to give even without promptings, etc.
The most important ingredient of love is giving, which God demonstrated by giving His only begotten son to save a world He truly loves. This is the kernel of the relationship of a couple in marriage, and I cannot but agree with the author.
In summary, I have taken the time to take my readers through a chapter-by-chapter review of this delightful book; a real classic manual for lovers (male and female), singles, and married couples who desire a Godly relationship.
In Nigeria, Ebook is available on Okadabooks while Paperback can be bought at Bookpeddler Bookstore in 9, Alaina Close, off Emmanuel street Ketu. You can also order online @Bookpeddler.ng and have it delivered to your doorstep nationwide.