Tolulope Popoola’s Nothing Comes Close derives from the author’s blog “In My Dreams It Was Simpler”.
Set mainly in the UK, this romantic story makes for a refreshing read – certainly a departure from other African stories that mostly center on the continent’s instabilities. Lola is a young, outspoken, confident and energetic woman. With her four friends – Funmi, Temmy, Titi, and Maureen – they make up a close circle of friends albeit with very different personalities. They are all educated young women, with good jobs but all struggling with their love relationships. Lola can’t understand why her last relationship ended; Titi unknowingly is dating a married man, Temmy can’t seem to settle down in a serious relationship while Funmi can’t get married to her love since his mother rejected her. All the scenes used to describe their struggles strike a chord with many young people who are still searching for “the one”.
The story begins rather slowly, but quickly gains pace when Lola meets Wole and they fall in love. As their love blossoms, so do the challenges that threaten their relationship- Wole’s hidden past, his arrest for murder and opposition from Lola’s sister against their relationship. Is their love strong enough to overcome these challenges? Or will they give it up?
Mainly told in the narrative by Lola and Wole, the story is captivating. Popoola expertly weaves in other characters without losing the plot altogether. The only minor gripe I have is the dearth of African scenes – I felt the story was too westernized and lacked the “African touch”. But then it could be the story reflects where the plot was set.
The author Tolulope Popoola was born in Lagos, Nigeria. She is a writer, blogger and a voracious reader. She lives in London with her husband and daughter.
Her book Nothing Comes Close (released September 2012) is published by Accomplish Press (UK).