The error path to relationship failure and a fresh start is a review of Adaora Nwodo’s latest book, Rona’s Trauma

  • Title: Rona’s Trauma.
  • Author: Adaora Nwodo (2023),
  • Publisher: Miss Dee Collections, Abuja (2023)
  • Pages: 195
  • ISBN: 978-978-795-098-2

Rona’s Trauma is an enthralling story of contemporary romance, evident in the speed, the dialogue, and the settings. Youthfulness plays out in the couple’s zest even as they quarrel and resolve, then rinse and repeat.

From the moment she ignores her intuition and embarks on a tumultuous relationship based on social media matchmaking, the protagonist of Rona’s Trauma takes the reader through a racy ride into a failed relationship that results in trauma and her eventual . The romance between Kosi Dilibe and Kamdi Odidi has its ups and downs, like most relationships, except that the downers predominate. Yet, the narrator hoped for marriage against the enormous odds.

Rona’s Trauma is an enthralling story of contemporary romance, evident in the speed, the dialogue, and the settings. Youthfulness plays out in the couple’s zest even as they quarrel and resolve, then rinse and repeat.

The setting is digital. Kamdi sees the profile of Kosi on a WhatsApp Group and expresses his admiration. Kosi’s friends noted his remarks and physical attributes and decided he would make a perfect match for her. Simi, her dearest and nearest friend, draws Kosi’s attention to the buzz around her and a potential suitor. She pushes her on to dive into the pool.

Kosi does so and engages in getting-to-meet-you online conversations with Kamdi.

The lights rapidly changed colour, from the inviting green of online supporters to amber even at the introductory stage and later to red. First, Kamdi is 30 as against Kosi’s 32 years. Her experience is that “many men are apprehensive about relating with older ladies”.

Rona’s Trauma offers a peep into the lifestyles of young millennial Nigerian adults. Through Kamdi and Kosi, we learn about what is fashionable or not, class differences and societal expectations about gender roles.  It is a digital world; WhatsApp and social media apps play a significant role.

She discovers she is taller when they meet three days into their introduction. Moreover, he is not her specification. “He came towards me with outstretched arms. I did not find him too charming in person, and the geeky spectacles he had on punctured my initial high expectations. However, I admired his magnetic charisma, deep dimples and sparkling brown eyes”.

Other incidents pointed to red lights rather than green. Kamdi’s sister gives a cold shoulder to Kosi on meeting her. His uncle, Chief Odidi, is initially dismissive and unfriendly. Kamdi reports to her, “Can you imagine my uncle? He said of all the girls in Abuja and the ones he tried to hook me up with, I decided to settle for a fat girl like you!”.

The young man’s parents were similarly unfriendly from the beginning until the relationship ended. Kamdi’s mum expressed the deep resentment of his family against her, evidently borne out of class injury and hurt pride.

The stars did not align for Kosi and Kamdi even as they stubbornly pursued their will-o’-the-wisp.

Rona’s Trauma flows easily as the author narrates the relationship’s many lowlights and few highlights. Abuja is the primary setting of this heart-rending romance thriller, with Lagos as the second city because of Kamdi and his parents.

The evocative biographical fiction features a good but linear storyline. It seems to pour out from the heart. Characters, locations, timelines, occurrences, conflicts, and consequences flow from her direct experiences.

Rona’s Trauma offers a peep into the lifestyles of young millennial Nigerian adults. Through Kamdi and Kosi, we learn about what is fashionable or not, class differences and societal expectations about gender roles.  It is a digital world; WhatsApp and social media apps play a significant role.

Kosi and Kamdi show an inadequate grasp of their gender roles in the relationship or the demands of their shared Igbo culture. Kosi is aware of the class differences between her and the man she seeks to marry and rubs it in, sometimes unintentionally. Such attitudes and her suggestions that her family could assist the young couple only help to rub salt into the wound Kamdi bears for coming from the lower end of the socio-economic ladder.

The dictionary defines intuition as “an ability to understand or know something without needing to think about it or use reason to discover it, or a feeling that shows this ability”.  Psychologists and folk wisdom credit women more with the ability to act on their intuition, but Kosi fails to activate hers in this exciting narrative.

Good writing brings out the valleys and mountains. The protagonist admits to her faults while sharing her desires, hopes and dreams.

Religion comes in handy as a refuge for the broken Kosi after losing her pregnancy. She meets a priest-psychologist who guides her through the pain. Soon, however, Kosi starts a new affair with a trending Pentecostal ministry and abandons the Catholic Church that was her bulwark through the storm. She follows the new rave as young people follow fashion!

Read Rona’s Trauma for an exciting narrative. Read it even more for the lessons and insights it offers into youth culture and attitudes to significant life issues such as dating and relationships, marriage, gender roles, families’ place in young couples’ lives, and more.

Rona’s Trauma adds another feather to the many in the hat of Adaora Nwodo. She is a lawyer, human resource specialist, fashion designer, movie producer and talk show host.

Adaora Nwodo is “passionate about women empowerment”. Miss Nwodo is a scion of the Nwodo family of Ukehe as the daughter of former governor Okwesilieze Nwodo.


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