Title: A Bouquet from the Flames
Author: Ivy Ikpeme- Mbakwem
Publisher: Edgepoint Global
Year of Publication: 2020
Number of Pages: 190
Category: Self Help
In Nigeria, divorce has long carried a stigma, particularly for women, wrongly suggesting a failure in managing their households. Women going through divorce often endure criticism from family and friends, leading to feelings of shame, loneliness, and depression. Despite societal judgments, Ivy Ikpeme-Mbakwem stands resilient. Instead of succumbing to negativity, she focuses on personal growth, determined to emerge stronger from the experience.
Ivy’s engaging openness extends to her book, ‘A Bouquet from the Flames,’ where she candidly admits mistakes without adopting a victim mentality. While openly sharing the details of her divorce, she encourages readers not to fixate excessively on her personal stories. Her primary goal is to impart a crucial lesson on avoiding bitterness post-divorce.
Her creativity shines through as she uses flowers as a case study, evident in the book’s title and content. For those going through a divorce, her book offers a connection with someone who understands their pain. However, she advises against dwelling in that state for too long, adding relatability to the narrative.
The author fearlessly reveals intimate details, acknowledging the pressure she placed on herself to marry quickly during her single life. This prompts single readers to reflect on self-imposed pressures, providing valuable insights.
Her book smoothly transitions between being a memoir, a narrative resembling a novel, a motivational book, and a guide. Beyond sharing entertaining personal stories, the author aims to inspire proactive steps, especially for individuals facing situations similar to hers.
In the book, terms like ‘pain’ and ‘bitterness’ are prevalent, and the word ‘forgiveness’ might catch the attention of many readers. It could be challenging to resonate with the author in this chapter, especially given the pain from your divorce. Doubts about whether the author truly understands your feelings may arise. However, as the author has undergone a similar situation, readers gradually set aside their fears and focus on the author’s advice on how to begin the journey of forgiveness.
Reading the book may feel like a weight lifting off your shoulders, signifying its significant impact. Each chapter provides time for reflection, allowing readers to jot down thoughts, enhancing the book’s effectiveness.
The author offers practical ideas, drawing from her own experiences, sharing the concrete steps she took to overcome the pain. These are not just tips she heard from someone; they are strategies she personally employed, tried, and tested in her own journey.
Ivy exposes herself not only as a writer but also as a poet and music enthusiast. Consequently, the inclusion of poems and musical lyrics contributes to the book’s richness and depth.
The author reflects on a time when she embraced life, but circumstances led her to forget her purpose. As you read this section, you might find yourself nodding in agreement, resonating with the current state of your life. Whether you choose to take action now is entirely up to you.
Her strong support system becomes evident, emphasizing its importance during marital challenges. While no parent desires their children to face marital issues, the author provides insights into how family members can offer support.
Whether facing a breakup or divorce, the book provides assurance to readers that they are not alone, delivering comfort and guidance for personal development. Although primarily tailored for women, it is inclusive and accommodates male readers, though they might find it necessary to skip certain chapters.
About the reviewer
Titilade Oyemade is a business executive in a leading organisation and holds a degree in Russian Language. She’s the convener of the Hangoutwithtee Ladies Event and the publisher of Hangoutwithtee magazine. She spends her weekends attending women conferences, events and book readings. She loves to have fun and to help other women have the same in their lives. Email: [email protected] Social: @tiipreeofficial