I recently read Lara Daniel’s soon-to-be-published novella, “The Officer’s Bride”. Having read two of her previous books and many of her series and short stories, I knew what to expect: a heartfelt and moving story with characters I could empathise with. And I wasn’t disappointed.
This time, Lara introduced me to the world of Nafisah and Eddy, a world of military oppression, coups and violence. I was reminded of a dark and scary time in recent history where it seemed there was no freedom, no hope and no good in the world anymore. But this was also a world where sacrifices had to be made for the sake of the greater good, and ultimately, goodness and love triumph over hate and evil.
The story revolves around two characters who are brought together by an act of fate. Colonel Edward (Eddy) is a top aide to the ruling dictator in the country, a paranoid, evil army General whose callous acts have brought the country into turmoil and darkness. Nafisah is a victim, directly affected by the acts perpetuated by men who have the power to do as they please. Her world is turned upside down, and she could have easily been lost forever, had Eddy not stepped in to literally save her life.
Eddy’s character surprised me. He works for an evil boss, carrying out swift and sometimes bloody assignments. But deep down, he remains a man with a conscience. When he meets Nafisah, she noticed that he was the only man that still had kindness in his eyes, compared to all the soldiers around him. And for five years, he took care of her, feeding and educating her and Nafisah blossomed under his care.
But Eddy’s most important mission demands he stakes everything - his loyalty, his job, his love and his very life on accomplishing a dangerous task. At this point, Nafisah has come to regard him as more than a rescuer and protector and she fervently hopes that she doesn’t lose the only person that has stood by her and protected her.
There were many moments in the book where I had to pause to absorb the tension that Lara built into the book flawlessly. I desperately wanted Eddy to succeed in his mission and come back to fulfil his promises to Nafisah. And I also wanted him to rid the country of the evil dictator and restore some sense of peace and morality. I must commend Lara on her ability to write much more than just a love story. Her writing is simple, and uncluttered, vivid and beautiful. I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Officer’s Bride, and even though it is short, the characters and imagery will resonate in my mind for a very long time.
Rating: 4 out of 5
To find out more, visit http://laradaniels.org/the-officers-bride/
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(c) Tolulope Popoola