- Author: Tope Omotosho
- Publisher: Leverage Publishing
- On-Sale Now
- Synopsis: Book one of Omotosho’s Marriage series follows multiple different characters in their searches for romance. Along the way, they learn that it is essential to seek God, rather than marriage, trusting in His choice for their partners.
Omotosho opens the novel with an important verse from Song of Solomon:
Oh, let me warn you, sisters in Jerusalem,
by the gazelles, yes, by all the wild deer:
Don’t excite love, don’t stir it up,
until the time is ripe—and you’re ready.Song of Solomon 3:5
What I Liked
- The book’s cover is lovely, from the wedding dress / shoes to the font selection
- The characters were intriguing. I really enjoyed the way Omotosho weaved together several distinctive narratives. It was also fun to learn how the lives of the main characters (Toke, Dayo and Jadesola, Mayowa and Jumoke) intersected with each other. I especially liked reading about Toke’s career as a fashion designer, and her relationships with her best friends.
- The writing, like the storylines, was engaging. Omotosho is the second Nigerian author I’ve read and she infuses Nigerian words and phrases, throughout the text. While I interpreted the language with context clues, I also discovered that she included a glossary of terms, at the end of the book. As such, this can be a fun cultural-learning tool.
- The shoe analogy runs throughout the book, creating a clear and central thesis.
The central theme of the novel is that it is important to trust God with our dreams for marriage, following His calling when it comes to finding a romantic partner. I believe this is a very important message for people who are currently dating. It has been several years since I last dated, but I think that this book, like the Princess Cut movie, would have impacted me during that time period.
With that said, as someone who is not dating, there is a lot of emphasis on finding a romantic partner. Both Toke and Jadesola experience feelings of inadequacy because they are not married. While both characters learn to trust God with finding a romantic partner, there is the underlying assumption that each will indeed get married.
For readers who are called to marriage, I think that this book is an excellent read! For readers who are called to singleness or are taking a break from dating, I would caution that marriage is very important in this book.
Beneath the umbrella of trusting God, Omotosho also emphasizes that the most important quality in a mate is someone who loves God, and that God is the One choosing our mate. She also discusses the importance of being the right “shoe,” that is, being the sort of prospective spouse that God wants us to be.
Discussion of Purity
While the emphasis on marriage was a bit strong for me, I do appreciate that purity is emphasized, as is sexuality in the exclusive content of marriage. At the same time, there is also a brief mention of “being a virgin for God,” implying that it is possible to reclaim our purity.
I think this is an important point, as well, because God truly is the God of second chances. I recognize that the purity movement often does not address this idea and places enormous weight on physical purity as something that is “lost,” once and for all. In reality, physical purity is not an exception to God’s redemptive power. So, I do appreciate that Omotosho addresses this argument.
Sex is less of a “taboo” word in the novel, which includes references to (off-page) sex, as well as a few casual mentions to sex, in conversation. With that said, there is nothing graphic. (In fact, the “main” romance doesn’t even include kissing.)
There are also references to infidelity, and to STDs.
Without getting into the details, due to spoilers, there was one scene (where God speaks to a character) that I felt uncertain about, because of what was being attributed to God.
In terms of audience, I would recommend this book to adults, because of the nature content. Among adults, I would specifically the novel to Christians who are dating, as it strongly emphasizes the importance of seeking God first in romantic relationships.
Overall, this was a very fun read, with an important message for dating singles. This is a great topic to consider, for those who are involved in, or considering, a romantic relationship. I think I would have benefited from this book, while dating, and it even includes discussion questions.