Book Review: Before Dawn by Naomi Isimemen

Book Review: Before Dawn by Naomi Isimemen

Before Dawn is written by a Nigerian author, Naomi Isimemen. When I first picked this book, I was not sure what to expect. I actually love to read non-fiction as it gives me insight into the writer’s life. And somehow, I get to connect with them and draw strength from their chronicles.


Before Dawn chronicles the life of a happy couple whose story suddenly changes when the cold hands of a death cut the life of her husband in his prime. At first she lived in so much denial hoping for a miracle. Until she has to accept her fate, lived through the furnace to become a stronger person.

Before Dawn Book Review


#1: Love

The writer paints a picture of love during her dating period with her husband. This gives the readers an interesting overview of life before the storm.

It is a blessing to have hearts that are equipped and willing to receive all your secrets in safety, a heart with whom you are unafraid to share the knowledge of something with, a heart whose company soothes your pain, whose counsel helps you make up your mind, whose exuberance melts your soul, whose very appearance cheers you up! (Page 13)

#2: Family

The closely bond that exists in family was beautifully captured in this short novel. One can see how the family of the writer appreciates and respect family which is not far fetched in a a typical African home. Especially how very supportive they were after she lost her husband.

Also, we could see the way families are always quick to step in during the eventuality of death in an African home. Assuming the worst of the bereaved wife and exploiting her in her weakest moment as was the case with Imade’s family.

Before Dawn

#3: Pain

“He is gone. Please let him go”

“No, he is not gone; he is just sleeping.”

Of all the physical and mental wounds I have endured, this one, I admit, is the worst. It didn’t only break my heart, it cut all of me into pieces.”

Only someone who has experienced pain can truly describe it like Naomi Isimemen did in Before Dawn. It was descriptively captured and puts the readers in the same room and shoes of the writer as she recounts her ordeal.

 #4: Parenting

No one is ever prepared to become a single parent but the writer was faced with that life. And it was surprising to see how she find strength in her pain to become a protective and amazing parent to her kids.

#5: Hope

It is not about the pain we go through or the very many nights we cry, but is about how we are able to draw up courage to start afresh. The death of her husband, the pain of her in-laws maltreating her and the reality of being a widow and single mother in her prime wasn’t enough to stop the writer. Rather, she found hope again and was able to rebuild herself through the ashes. And like a phoenix, she rose and her life is indeed a lesson to many other widows out there.

Reading Before Dawn


The language use in Before Dawn is quite simple, easy to read and understand. It is one of those books you can pick up during your lunch break and finish before it is over.


On a final note, I will rate this book 9/10. It was quite captivating and took all my attention away until I was able to finish it. At some point, the reader had high hopes in a miracle like the writer. However, I felt the final part was rushed. I had more questions to ask like the kids coping mechanism. All in all, this is a masterpiece illusion by the writer and I truly look forward to reading more books by her.

And if you are a lover of non-fiction that revolves around love, death, pain and rebirth, then you should definitely get a copy of this book. You can purchase Before Dawn by clicking on this link. You can also get to follow the writer on her social media pages: and .

Would you love to read the book? What other similar books in this genre can this book remind you of?

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Before Dawn, book review, Nigerian Authors, Nigerian writers


  1. June 30, 2019 / 11:30 am

    I’m going to find the book to read. I hope there’s an e-book😊😊😊😊

    • Akingboye Deborah
      June 30, 2019 / 7:27 pm

      Oh please you should. I doubt there’s an e-book but you can get the hard copy delivered right to your door step.

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