By Japhet Davidson
One of the qualities of a good book is that it makes the reader feel and takes him/her on a compelling journey and after reading Marvin Abe’s debut novel, The Voyage Of Saints, I was left with no other view but to concur with the view.
Apart from the above, one other special attribute of this romantic thriller is that it is based on a true life story and the author as a good story teller exhibited his story telling act which made reading it very engaging.
In the 334 pages book of thirty chapters published by Masobe Books , Lagos, Nigeria, the author narrates how Michael Ajose, who was convinced by an unforgettable dream that his life’s course could only be charted by a mysterious woman’s love decided to find her, and marry her. He was 12 years old.
Michael has big dreams to sail on a big ship and travel the world. Despite all the road blocks thrown his way, he still finds himself on the path to be a sailor with his eyes on the ultimate prize to be Captain of a ship some day. It is on this journey fate brings beautiful Lami his way.
Here, the author tells the reader of how he loved her like an addiction. And how she loved him like an anchor for his soul. Their love is one that is hard to believe still exists but yet believable as they go through life’s difficulties and challenges especially through life’s dangerous waters and against all forces determined to keep them apart, from external forces.
Lami becomes Michael’s pillar and strength, she literally maps out how she would navigate towards achieving his goals and she ensures that he gets to the peak even at her own detriment. Michael on the other hand, is enchanted by her love for him and would do everything to please her so he marries her despite his family’s objections and it seems like this is happily ever after but as they say, good things does not come so easy there is always the unknown voice beyond.
They partially achieved, the power from within did not all them to accomplish the rest, as Lami had challenges, she was unable to have a child for him, she battled with many ailment that finally took away her life. Micheal was devastated.
The author utilised the use of many ingredients that spiced up the story, example the characters in this book were well built, Lami was lovely, strong and selfless while Michael’s zeal and tenacity were a plus.
Another angle was the series of letters Lami and Michael wrote each other at the times they were apart. The author took the readers to the era of letter writing unlike these days where text messages and email have taken over. Even in far distances, they still expressed their love and commitment to their marriage and dreams for each other.
Another angle was their visits to native doctors and seers. Though it might look somehow, but it was in the course of searching for solutions which can happen to any other person in need.
In all, the story highlights the limitations of man over certain happenings, one can have the best plans, dreams and aspirations, and worked hard to achieve them, but there are sometimes forces that makes it look as if one has no plan or did not plan well.
Overall, it was an interesting attempt by an experienced Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the Maritime and Oil and Gas industries. It is a well crafted piece waiting for a good producer that will turn it to a movie that it is.
The Voyage of Saints’ is published by Masobe Books, a Lagos-based publishing house with the primary aim of encouraging reading by making available to the public, books by talented African authors.