BeGone by Temi Taiwo-Oni Is An Interesting Addition To Literature | Book Review by Syn Osuchukwu
BeGone follows the story of Toju and Araba Cole, a couple, as they navigate the ills surrounding their marriage, before and after the former’s amnesia-inducing accident.
Toju Cole is a violent man; conscious of his reputation but only outside the four walls of his bedroom. Araba Cole, his wife, is the recipient of that violence.
The book explores the common theme of domestic violence in a young couple’s home. The couple are the founders of a perfume business; the wife starting out as an assistant, a partner, and then…just the wife. Things change when Toju is involved in an accident and has the opportunity to redo his marriage under the guise of amnesia brought on by the accident. Ditching her elopement plans after a nerve-wracking beating, Araba returns to take her place in the company to an unsuspecting Toju.
Like majority of the books with this theme, there are no surprises. In most cases, one can tell how it ends from how it begins. Perhaps, this is a reflection of how the Nigerian society treats domestic violence cases: sprinkle “Kashamadupe” prayers here and there, get big sunglasses to cover the bruises, wait for anywhere-belle-face family members to settle the issue, receive “Alhamdulilah” sighs from those who know, and hope that one day, the violent partner will receive divine intervention and repent of his ways.
The story never deviates. A woman or two pick their bags and leave, but it is usually a half-hearted attempt in the hope that the abuser will return and see “the good wife he has been missing” all this while.
While we score Taiwo-Oni no points for originality, the theme of domestic violence remains outside the shores of banality. There is the need for literature to keep addressing this issue and raising the much needed awareness on a malaise that has refused to dwindle in numbers.
Thankfully, the book is a light read and can be consumed in one sitting. So, if you are looking for a relaxed read, try this out. Taiwo-Oni says there will be a sequel. If there will be a book 2, we would like to see character development on the part of the characters and in addition to crisp prose that springs from a well of novelty.
In all, Taiwo-Oni should be commended for her efforts on BeGone as it is an interesting addition to literature.
Temi Taiwo-Oni can be reached on social media with the same name.