This book, with a cover graphic of a hideous monster, “is aimed at identifying what constitutes a ‘monster’” that results in divorce, as the author writes in her Introduction.
The Nigerian author (also a lawyer and social scientist) believes that marriage is ordained by God and describes in detail (over 16 pages) the legal arrangements of marriage in Nigeria, where the marriageable age “is usually presumed to be the age of puberty” and polygamy “is a customary law institution.” She presents reasons why people marry and offers a reasonable study on scriptural allowances for divorce.
The book is hampered, however, by the lack of a clear premise: Who is the intended audience? What is the author’s specific intent? Are readers to be simply informed of cultural differences in Nigerian marriage arrangements, or are they to be persuaded to avoid divorce if at all possible?
In addition, the author is cryptic about her own experience. Writing that she had “a personal experience of being thrown out of my matrimonial home despite all my pleading to be allowed to stay,” Julie Oguara reveals nothing more about her personal journey through divorce. This leaves a curious void of credibility. More details about her own situation would help balance the generic factual information that is prominent in the book.
The last chapter (“Fix It”) is filled with repeated “shoulds” — “Spouses should be faithful,” “Anger should be short-lived” — that may feel preachy to readers. And occasional awkward phrasing reflects the fact that the author is not a native English speaker (“I do not think that anyone can be blamed if a spouse in a marriage as described above calls it a quit” [sic]).
The book, which seems to be written for Nigerians, might better serve readers by offering more practical advice on how to avoid the “monster called divorce.” As it stands, readers will struggle to understand the author’s goals here.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.