A review of Olushola Adeborode Kolawole’s The Little Things That Matter by Folorunsho Moshood
THE book, ‘The Little Things That Matter,’ is a collection of three short stories written by Olushola Adeborode Kolawole (OAK).
THE book explores certain social issues and their consequences at familial level. Since the three stories revolve round the common familial themes of relationship, family, friendship and teamwork, the book qualifies to be called a trilogy.
The book, lucidly written, is made up of 119 pages and branched into three spellbinding stories – ‘The Little Things That Matter,’ ‘Twelve Years And A Fight’ and ‘Mother’s Marriage’.
The second story in this collection is the longest story.
The first story, ‘The Little Things That Matter’, written in third person narrative, is about career choice and prospects.
It reveals the significance of relying on one’s ability, talent and interest in choosing a lifelong career for the benefit of not only the individual, but also for his/her family. The story, which has its setting within the Gabriel family in Delta State, Nigeria, features Kema as the protagonist.
Despite all odds, Kema remains resolute in her choice of field of study, Food and Nutrition, against her father’s wish of more lucrative discipline.
This Kema’s apogee of disobedience temporarily costs her a place in her father’s heart as Mr. Gabriel refuses to pay her WAEC fee among other punishments.
Kolawole uses Janusian Thinking with pretentious obedience of Kema’s twin sister, Tovo, who plays along with her father’s choice of a lucrative discipline, Medicine, but later succumbs to the whims of her interest in flowering plants.
At 200 level, Tovo opts out of Medicine for Agriculture. The twist in this story lands on Mr. Gabriel as a diabetic patient while the turn occurs when his nutritionist shuffles off the mortal coil.
These two outcomes vindicate Kema and her choice of career. She later becomes her father’s best nutritionist and a source of pride to the family when she travels to France on the invitation of her online course adviser, Mr Alexandre.
The second story, ‘Twelve Years And A Fight’, also written in third person narrative, is about vengeance that surfaces as a result of lack of trust.
This suspenseful story has several plots that come alive with the technique of flashback as the author unrepentantly displays a style that characterized most of Sidney Sheldon’s celebrated novels.
This story is a dramatic urban thriller that highlights trust and betrayal on one hand and love and hatred on the other.
Step by step the reader will accompany Tade, the protagonist, on his road to perdition as events unfold with terrible acts of violence that eventually consume Tade Ajisafe and his staunch foe, Samson Ogunleye, who emerges from nowhere as his friend to wreak havoc in the family of Tade.
With its setting in Lagos, the first part, ‘The Genesis’, opens with Tade being stranded in the centre of the filthy road of Oloja-Igbe, Ikorodu. His car, Toyota Camry develops a fault and halts in the middle of the road. Waiting for his mechanicwho will fix the car, an old-time friend, Samson suddenly appears on the scene and fixes the carfor him. Tade appreciates the kind gesture and decides to entertain his friend at a nearby restaurant and bar called ‘ReDLiGHT.’ Apparently, the stench of their fight of 12 years ago when they were undergraduates still waxes stronger around Samson.
Tade, who perceives the foul odour of their fight, invites Samson to his luxury apartment for a reconciliatory dinner. The sight of Tade’s luxury apartment and his beautiful wife, Priscilla, adds more fuel to the fire of vengeance raging in the mind of Samson as the dinner eventually turns tragic. What was Tade’s offence 12 years ago? It can be found in the book.
‘Mother’s Marriage,’ the last story in this collection, written in first person narrative, is about a big dream of Gift Okechukwu, the protagonist, that eventually comes to reality.
It is a story of poverty, prosperity, love and hatred as well as disobedience that is weaved around marriage, romance, relationship, wife-battering, hard-work, friendship and teamwork to produce a chef-d’oeuvre.
Gift’s father, Chibuike Okechukwu, is a chronic wife beater and criminal who is arrested by the police on the same day he batters his wife and nearly blinds her left eye. The road to success is neither straight nor smooth; it is always crooked with potholes. As events unfold, the reader will follow Gift in her trip to success, especially where her dream almost dies at twilight. From a poverty-ridden home of Okechukwu to a temporary home of Ishola, a place of affluence where Gift is enrolled in a private school. Her father purportedly dies in police custody, while Mr. Ishola who later becomes her surrogate father also dies while trying to fix his car for a wedding between him and her mother. Her dream, which almost dies at twilight while in the home of Abdulkareem, her mother’s subsequent lover, is eventually revived by her friend, Bimpe Badmus.
her reading mate in school, who on the permission and acceptance of her parents, takes Gift to their home where her dream comes to reality.
In all the three stories, Olushola Adeborode Kolawole explores antitheses such as obedience and disobedience; trust and betrayal; friendship and enmity; prosperity and poverty; love and hatred among others concurrently on the pages of one book to unrepentantly display his skills inContradictory Creativity. The three stories have family as the central theme – the Gabriel family, the Ajisafe family and the Okechukwu family in that order. Hemasterfully draws the reader in and gives a real feel for the characters and their prevailing situations. However, there are some deliberate gaps in all the three stories that the author will like the reader to fill with his/her own imaginations. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to every family and student for education and entertainment. All the stories can be adapted into movies.