Happy Thursday, Reader Friends!
Today we’re featuring author Lydia Emmanuel’s book Catching Grace: This book you’d love. Check out the excerpt below!
About The Book.
Grace, much like every first child, has big dreams to be the beacon of light in her family; save her mother from the miseries of years of a troubled marriage and set the right example for her siblings, where her father has failed.
But, like that of every big dreamer, her path is roughened by betrayals, neglect, lies and escapades that push her farther away from her dreams. She finds herself miles away from home, living a life sustained by chaos, lustful passions and dangerous alliances.
Set in Nigeria, from the racing city of Lagos and the sleepy Ibadan City to the ageless Ile-Ife, Grace finds herself yearning for more than her new life can offer. And when she runs into a young man from her past, she realizes a choice must be made; continue with her life as it is or retrace her steps back to where she had abandoned her dreams.
I woke up with a start; my heart beating fast. I had been pleading for forgiveness from my mother, gazing hard at her, arms wrapped cringingly around her legs; but she looked away the whole time. Suddenly, I felt a strong wind; so powerful that it started to snatch me away from her. Her motherly instinct kicked in with the force of this wind but it was too late to help me. Her face was filled with so much sorrow and i could not tell the exact cause of her pain. Was it my wrongdoing? Was it the fact that I was lost forever; or even both? As the gale flung me farther away, I lost sense of my bearing and could no longer hear my own voice.
I lay still in bed; hardly noticeable but for the slight heaving of my chest. “No one would notice anyway.” It dawned on me yet again that I was alone in this world and things got worse by the day.
I heard the screams first, other muffled sounds followed but the walls were too thin to not hear. I could tell there were slaps, punches, scuffling and someone getting choked. This was no longer new to me and I sighed as I realised I was not moved by such disturbing occurrences. I had become cold over time. Just like the inmates in this prison, as I called it. I looked at the time, as I became aware of the environment. It was only 11:15pm. There were still working hours left.
Suddenly, it hit me! The sounds were coming for a familiar place; Ifeoma! I simultaneously went cold with fear then mad with rage. This was Ifeoma, meek heart and frail frame. It was a shame that she had found herself in this hellhole. Here, there were wildcats with sharp claws; ever ready to battle, always positioned to defend themselves. Not Ifeoma. Somehow she had managed to preserve her innocent outlook to life despite all she had been through. There was no trouble in her, she avoided conflict by all means and never spoke evil of anyone. Anything to keep the peace. I hated that she bothered at all, for this prison thrived on chaos. Peace was a strange concept. This prison was a bomb whose fuse was waiting to be lit.
Her screams were now so faint. She had run out of steam, poor thing. I stood up hurriedly, forgetting that I was undressed. “Save her”, was all I could think of. I had no idea how, but I was not going to sit and do nothing like others who sure were “minding their business” as usual. I rushed out of my room. More like a shanty. The tiny space that was once a storage was hastily cleared out for me upon my unannounced arrival. A threadbare mattress had been thrown on the bare half dirt, half cemented floor. As I hurried down the passage of the dreary looking prison, the door of Ifeoma’s room flung open. A tall, thick set man in black uniform stormed out. His moustache was a perfect fit for his villainous look. He didn’t notice me as he hurriedly left in the opposite direction, rubbing his head. I caught a glimpse of blood as he brought down his hand. I wish he saw the hateful look accompanied by disgust on my face. A mere Police Corporal and a corrupt one at that. They came at will to pick any girl of their choice, all the time overstaying their welcome and asking for all sort of special services. The girls hated them too but tolerated them for “license” to work. For my aunt who owned the prison and was the girls’ boss, it was trade by barter. In exchange for free services, her place had never been raided. They also served as her henchmen for any errant girl. It was her way of keeping the girls in check, preserving her rule and authority. The very ones saddled with the responsibility of protection had become perpetrators of debauchery.
What had sweet Ifeoma done to deserve the stick? I ran into the room to see her half on the bed, half on the floor, barely breathing. I could see she had fought back and had paid the price for daring to. A broken bottle of body cream lay on the floor, its contents splattered all over. She was gasping for breath. The picture of my mother lying battered on the floor floated through my mind. “What did you do?” I asked, pulling her up. She only gasped, winced in pain and motioned feebly for me to stop. She was trying to speak, so I leaned in.
“She…found… m..mo..money”, She managed to say.
I was livid. How did the dreams of a young girl disturb my aunt’s ambitions? I wanted to weep. Ifeoma motioned again as she took another deep breath.
“Lie down first, you’ll be fine. We are running away from here okay?” I whispered.
She seemed agitated and determined to speak. Summoning some more strength, she dropped a bombshell – “Your baby… your ba…by no die, na…Madam sell …sell am.”
About The Author.
Ololade Okedare lives in Lagos, Nigeria.
She writes under the pen name Lydia Emmanuel.
As a screenwriter, she has both feature and short films to her credit. She currently serves as a mentor in the first ever Lagos FilmLab. She also has a faith-based outreach that runs a rehabilitation program targeted towards victims of sex trade and sexual abuse. for female victims of abuse and sex traders, and passionately pursues the dream of building a local rehabilitation shelter. Check her out @lydianuel on Instagram,