In A Peculiar Friend, Seun Rominiyi shares her life’s story to inspire others to pursue a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, who she believes brings peace and purpose to life.
Rominiyi proposes that everyone in life eventually will fail you, but notes the comfort of knowing Jesus Christ (who she calls her “peculiar friend”) can bring you through any difficulty. She argues that you can “only truly discover God for yourself,” yet she acknowledges the effectiveness of learning from the mistakes of others.
Here, she chronicles the challenges of growing up in a middle class Christian home in Nigeria, longing for the wealth and superiority of upper class peers. Naturally shy, insecure and a “goody two shoes,” Rominiyi struggled to find relevance in her world. As an adult, she moved to London, married, and battled feelings of worthlessness due to her prolonged inability to secure a job. This led to a psychotic episode that landed her in a mental hospital. Through it all, Rominiyi’s faith in Jesus anchored her to hope.
The author’s firsthand perspective on class tensions in Nigeria is interesting, and her personal prayers throughout the book have a transparent vulnerability that feels encouraging rather than preachy. Being a 30-something woman, she delivers a fresh outlook on issues like bullying, dating and marriage, job hunting, and finding your place in life.
While Rominiyi’s autobiography is thought-provoking, the presentation of her mental illness is abrupt and vague. Early on, the author is open with personal details; here she shuts down, jolting readers’ established perception of her and leaving questions. Mysteriously, she states, “I have not been permitted to fully share my experiences” but gives no further explanation. Additionally, some of the quoted Scripture verses are either inaccurate or not from the listed translations.
Rominiyi’s autobiography deals primarily with young adult issues and may not appeal to older audiences. Younger generations may benefit from her recollections of growing up through turbulent times with Jesus Christ.
Also available as an ebook.