by Oyindamola Olofinlua
Title: A Heart To Mend
Author: Myne Whitman
Paperback: 250 pages
The battle between serious literature (literary literature) and unserious literature (pulp literature) has been on for ages. Myne Whitman’s debut novel A Heart To Mend has offered a truce. In Mend, there is a lovely blend of the pulp and the literary. Whitman proves that it is very possible for a novel to serve Art for Art’s purpose as much as it serves the purpose of Art for Life.
Gladys, a 26 year old graduate, leaves Enugu for Lagos to job-hunt. While trying to get her way, Edward, a wealthy orphaned bachelor in his mid thirties snobbishly comes to her rescue. They go their separate ways but fate brings them together again. Gladys, who has now ceased to be the newcomer, sweeps Edward off his feet. Love spirals. However, their love is caught in the web of Edward’s past. He is about to lose all he has lived for. Only Gladys can save him.
A Heart To Mend may well be regarded as a realist novel. Whitman does not present issues that can be isolated from human experiences. She presents how human beings can make attempts to undo others, and the extent to which humans can thirst for vengeance, how the past can hinder the future and how love conquers all.
Myne Whitman is one of the very few Nigerian writers that write romance, so from the outset of the novel, one may have wrongly guessed that the novel would only be about a tale of love – but the skilful manner in which she intersperses this with economy and reality shows a writer with promise.
In spite of the late encounter of suspense in the novel and a handful of typographical errors, the self-published A Heart To Mend, is not bad for a first novel. Y!