Why would a ‘Hurt’ that is already painful by itself be Burning? Not ‘Burnt’, but ‘Burning’ in a continuous present term. I wondered…as I tried to imagine the story behind the title. A part of me said ‘it will be filled with bitterness’, probably a typical “boy-meets-girl-boy-loves-girl-breaks-her-heart-and-runs-away-with-her-best-friend-story” with a slightly different twist to it.
Imagine the shock on my face, the thrill in my heart as I flipped pages upon pages in a slow hurry, not wanting the chapters to end or the scenes to conclude… yet panting with desire to know what happened next. Too much anticipation is not good sometimes for an old heart you know, but the anticipation in Burning Hurt pumped fresh blood into my heart.
Unyime-Ivy King is one writer you do not want to assume you know what she will say at the end of a line. Being a lover of books gives her the added advantage to take you on a roller-coaster ride at every turn. Just when you thought you had it figured out, she dims the light and returns full scale with all the beams on you!
Burning Hurt is definitely a story about love, hatred, deep seated un-forgiveness, neglect and bitterness aimed at the wrong person. For me, it is a Library containing Cooking instructions, Histories of our forgotten legends in Ibibio land, How-to-learn-Ibibio-Language-in-some-hours, Sound Proverbs, Educational Values, Ideals from Groups necessary for good home-keeping and Economic Empowerment, which also covered Primitive forms of seeking justice and so much more. According to Unyime-Ivy King, the “Ebre Society” for the women performed during the day, while the “Akata” (for the men) operated at night in the cover of darkness. I’m wondering why, but that’s a matter for another day.
The book Burning Hurt deals with the birth of a child under shameful circumstances, the death of that child, the curses that follow upon the Father from the Mother, of a parent’s failed hopes for his first son; of “Verity’s” pain in the waiting room (for a child) for 9 years, of meddling parents in their children’s marriages, of the loss of a Dad and a Mum’s remarriage to his best friend, of not having someone to confide in, of unwavering faith in God and His ways; of the true lies our mothers told us “if a man as much as touched her, she would end up pregnant. Hence, Verity and her sisters were severely warned not to go near men as the latter were ‘dangerous’” and it worked! Oh… the humour!
We are reminded of the power of agreement in the place of prayer/forgiveness/love, of songs, of witchcraft and false prophets, of philandering and most importantly of God’s expertise at intricately weaving lives into one fabric such that no matter how far anyone runs, their paths meet for the sake of Purpose and Destiny and it all begins with Itohowo Ekanem. Join me on this ride through the Hurt to the Healing…using your own copy.