With an already strained marriage on the brink of divorce, the last thing Moni Badmus needs is the endless bizarre demands from her rebellious teenage daughter. Can anything get worse for her? But yet it does…
This sums up the first chapter of Vivian Kay’s novella Honour Among All. Set in Canada, the story revolves around the Badmus family, devout Christians but whose relationship has become strained due to a slip-up on Ladi’s part. No matter how much he apologizes, Moni can’t seem to forgive or forget the betrayal. This creates a huge a gap between them- they hardly talk to each other and they can’t agree on the best parenting skills for their daughter. The strain seems to rub off onto their teenage daughter; she’s rude to her mother and is unruly at school. Numerous calls from the school principal inviting Moni to discuss her daughter’s behavior seem the norm; to the extent that she gets worried if she’s not called.
This is the norm in the Badmus’ house, with Moni waiting and praying for the day everything will be normal again, with Ladi wanting to quit, and their daughter’s behavior worsening every day. Moni only takes comfort in her work and prayer, but she knows very well that work won’t solve all her problems. After all her mother always told her that “…no matter how successful a woman was in her professional career, if her home was in shambles, it was all for naught….”
As the couple grapples around for a solution to their challenges, Debo, Ladi’s close friend approaches him with a solution; a solution that opens Ladi to a world he never knew existed. Even though it is a crazy idea and goes against his Christian values, he can’t resist the excitement it offers; and so he presents the idea to Moni but with an ultimatum. Ready to do anything to save her marriage, she decides to try it out. What follows is a wave of lies and secrets just to cover up their outrageous new way of life. It seems to be working out; for a while until the near-death experience their daughter goes through. It is evident that “….except the Lord builds the house, they labour in vain that build it…”
The author uses the characters of Moni and Ladi to discuss the well hidden practice called wife swinging dubbed ‘play parties’ in the book. Does this practice offer solutions to couples who’ve drifted apart sexually? Does it bring back the spark in a dying marriage? And for Christians, what does this practice mean in relation to their values? Should man handle his battles sometimes instead of letting God take control? What is more surprising is the fact that it does exist in today’s modern society and some Christian groups practice it too.
Considering what happens to Moni and Ladi as one reads on, it shows that this practice offers a little or no satisfaction and in the end, the outcomes can be disastrous – as shown by Ladi’s example. When Moni decides to quit, Ladi moves out, in pursuit of the excitement he gets from the play parties. As Moni and Shekinah’s relationship gets better, Ladi’s life becomes a nightmare.
But like the saying goes that after a storm comes calm, Ladi and Moni finally get back together, their faith is renewed and above all Shekinah is the responsible daughter Moni always prayed for. There was after all a much better solution to their problems. Sometimes we just have to do our part and trust God to handle the battles in our lives.
Written in simple English, the book makes for an easy read and it gives the reader an insight into marriage, its challenges, and our vulnerability as human beings in trying to find solutions to these challenges. Recommended for adult readers only.
Vivian Kay is a new Christian author and Honour Among All is her debut novel. She currently lives in Canada and when she is not writing or daydreaming about writing, she is tending to her other hobbies like cooking, playing scrabble and reading.