Title: A Time To Part
Author: Ama Pomaa
Genre: Inspirational Fiction/Inspirational Romance/Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Hetura books
Publication Date: 29th July, 2017
Reason for reading: Reasons for reading: Received this book as an advanced review copy for a candid review. (Note: a small fee was charged for this service)
When the pain is all you have, letting go is not an option.
Seven years ago, Jasmine left everything she knew behind. Her mother had killed herself, her father was terminally ill, and she had broken off with Hagan, the only man who ever loved her. It was the perfect time to start over. Except she never did part with any of it!
When a tragic incident forces her back into the past, she’ll have to decide if letting go is too high a price to pay for everything she wants.
Ama Pomaa’s debut book, A Time To Part, is fast paced, griping and full of suspense. The plot unfolds as you read along, with the suspense and intrigue building up and sustained very well till the end. The story telling is crisp, sharp and witty so much so that the pathos, poignant and profound sentiments running through the book appear somewhat subdued. Reading the book, I find myself equally angry, disbelieving, sad, and yes redeemed at the end. A family’s dysfunctional tendencies, with far-reaching consequences on its members seem to suggest that evil does not pay; this also underpins the book’s Christian or inspirational message.
The main plot evolves round Jasmine and Hagan, whose budding relationship is torn apart by hatred, jealousy, deceit, and familial betrayal. A subplot or a story within a story, involves Kojo, Jasmine’s brother and Doris, their houshelp. But the author skilfully weaves the subplot into the major plot and any awkwardness in the development of the full story is eased away by the seamless cohesion.
Jasmine is hurting bad. So bad to forget what has been done to her when she was a child. And she has secrets too, secrets that push her into the dingy hole of a brothel to satisfy the craving in her for expiation. She thinks her only redemption is in saving Selase, Hagan’s 12-year-old sister, from a fate that is worse than her own, for she has been there and knows the score. Will Hagan be able to forgive Jasmine, who has destroyed his life in a most unimaginable way and now comes back into his life at a time when he least expects? Will Jasmine even want to set aside her prejudice and receive his forgiveness? Will the two forgive each other in time to save Selase?
Kojo’s inaction, cowardice and inability to stand up for the truth in defence of his sister leads to a rift between him and Jasmine. He goes through a hard time to find redemption. Again his irresponsible behaviour as a youth and careless ill-treatment of Doris the house help, haunts him, with far-reaching repercussions on his life.
Hagan and Doris believe in the goodness and forgiving power of God. Hagan, a medical doctor is conflicted about his feelings for Jasmine and the pain of her betrayal which keeps haunting him. When Jasmine’s quest to save his sister Selase goes awry he relies on his communion with God to forgive her and move on with his life.
Doris comes across as a saint in the book. Do saints really exist? Perhaps so as the author seems to suggest that the healing touch of Christ can have such impact on a person who has been dehumanised just like Kojo does to Doris.
Jasmine and Kojo coming from the same background of wealth and deceit find it difficult, in their own way, to let go of their past. Kojo, haunted by his misdeeds, feels he does not deserve anything good. He is also out for blood to avenge the death of his wife, even though he thinks her death is karma working against him.
Jasmine has lots of scars that drive her life. And as she continues to make one mistake after the other in her education and career choices, and even in her new mission of saving Selase, it takes grace and the love of the one man she has hurt to make her confront her demons and to reconcile with her past.
Ama Pomaa’s characters are well-rounded and authentic and yet flawed with human foibles, as they go though tribulations that define their actions and decisions, which shape them into finding redemption. The main heroine, Jasmine is a strong woman, determined to forge her own path, whether good or bad. Despite her past tribulations, she does not crumble. Perhaps it is this singular strength and sense of purpose that sustains her throughout the novel as she finds herself ultimately.
Through riveting and yet crisp narrative and dialogue, the author is able to portray the effects and far-reaching repercussion incest, rape, adultery, lies, deceit, and dishonesty can have on a family. The reader is carried along throughout the novel, on a suspenseful journey of self discovery of the major characters. The reader would also be shocked into realising that not all the characters seem to be what they are. As the author seems to suggest, one cannot be certain of anything in this world, except the love of Christ.
Ama Pomma’s ability to dissect thorny themes of murder, rape and incest in her book without sounding raw and weepy should be commended. Not a mean feat. Though a Christian or inspirational novel, A Time To Part can also be classified under the Christian Romance genre. The author strivers not to sound preachy and didactic and she achieves this very nicely.
A Time To Part is well researched book, the author knows her characters and settings so well. I also find the cover to be stunning. 🙂 My only issue with the book is why Hagan delays in taking his sister from the home of her guardian when he is in a position to do so. That does not make sense to me. I must add that this does not detract from the story in any way. It is just a minor issue with me.
I recommend A Time To Part for all lovers of suspense, romance and inspirational books, and indeed lover of literature.
Ama Pomaa is a writer by night and an Engineer by day. She lives in Accra with her three sisters, managing an addiction to novels and writing stories that touch on God’s love and societal issues she’s passionate about. A Time to Part is her first novel.