Love’s Affliction is exactly the kind of novel that I love reading: emigration, intercultural relationships… I’m really addicted to these topics and deep involved in them since I have married a Mexican and have a daughter with him! I really want to thank the author for sending me a free copy of his book!
Fidelis O. Mkparu’s novel is a highly entertaining and well written book about the difficult love story between two college students coming from completely different worlds. Wendy Crane is white, blonde and with green eyes. Joseph Fafa is black, Catholic and comes from Nigeria. Wendy is the daughter of one of the richest men in North Carolina. Joseph comes from an upper middle class family who sent him to the USA to receive a better education after that the Biafra War destroyed many facilities in his country.
Joseph and Wendy meet in 1977 and immediately fall in love, but Wendy’s father is against their relationship because he doesn’t like his skin colour. Wendy decides to flee to France and Joseph has an affair with a girl called Francesca who leaves him when she becomes a famous model.
After a year Wendy comes back and reignites her relationship with Joseph. Wendy is very jealous, but she has her good reasons, since Joseph seems to have only female friends and he is attracted by their beauty. One of them is Doreen, an art student with an American father and a Brazilian mother, but the most important is Gina, the daughter of an Afro-American man and a Lumbee Indian woman. Lumbee Indians are a state-recognized Native American tribe in North Carolina, even if the DNA results showed that they are a mixture of African and European blood, with only a small percentage of Native American DNA.
Both Wendy and Joseph want to become doctors, but their plans to study together are ruined by Wendy’s father who doesn’t hesitate to use his power and influence to sabotage Joseph’s admission to medical school. Joseph won’t be admitted to any medical school in North Carolina, so in 1980 he is forced to move to Detroit, Michigan. Wendy is ready to marry him, but Joseph doesn’t like women who want to take control of his life, so he decides to set her free from their relationship.
Love’s Affliction gave me an interesting insight into the American college system and the lives of privileged people. It’s an almost perfect novel and I’d like to know how much autobiographical is. What disappointed me was not so much the unexpected end of the relationship between Joseph and Wendy, but the chapter about his year in Detroit. Why did the author devote all those pages to the poor black student Mavenka and the beautiful and rich Elaine, if neither of them took Wendy’s place in Joseph’s life and why didn’t he write instead at least a few lines to tell who became Doctor Fafa’s wife and how he met her?