A Gift From Darkness

How I Escaped with My Daughter from Boko Haram

Publication Date: Jan 23, 2018

288 pp

Trade Paperback

List Price US $15.95
Trim Size (H x W): 6 x 9
ISBN: 978-1-59051-849-6


List Price US $11.99
ISBN: 978-1-59051-850-2

The inspirational story of a pregnant young Nigerian woman and the horrors she endured to save her unborn child when she was kidnapped by Boko Haram.

When she was nineteen, Patience Ibrahim’s first husband was murdered by Boko Haram. She fled to the safety of her village and remarried several months later. Having prayed for a child for years, Patience is overjoyed when she discovers she is pregnant. But her joy is short-lived: Boko Haram soldiers are at her door. Brutally abducted and forced to convert to Islam, she lives in constant terror of what her kidnappers have in store for her. She finds herself alone in the world and fears her life is over.

For two months, Patience hides her pregnancy while facing the brutalities meted out by Boko Haram. By the sheer force of her determination to protect her baby, she and her child are able to survive. Now, she has entrusted journalist Andrea C. Hoffmann with her story, a powerful first-person account of Boko Haram’s atrocities in Nigeria and Cameroon.

One of the first testimonies on the terrorist group’s war crimes in Western Africa, A Gift from Darkness poignantly shows the human toll of a crisis that demands attention.

Excerpt from A Gift From Darkness

“Forget your past. It doesn’t exist anymore: join us and become a warrior’s wife.”

“How can you say that? You know I’m already married.”

“You’re a widow,” he replied frostily.

I felt great fury welling up in me. So my uncle knew that my first husband had died. Did he also know that his friends had murdered him? Had he perhaps even worked closely with them? I wanted to shout at him and tell him they were all murderers. That they had my mother on their consciences. But I bit my tongue. Don’t squander your last chance, I warned myself. With great self-control I said, “I’m not a widow any longer. I married again.”

“An infidel?”

“A Christian.”

“That doesn’t count. That doesn’t matter anymore. The marriage is hereby annulled.”

I glared at him furiously. Had my uncle no sense of honor? Did he want to ruin our family’s reputation completely? “Do you want to turn me into an adulterer?”

“Not at all! It’s as I say: a Muslim woman cannot be the wife of a Christian.”

“But I’m not a Muslim.”

“Yes, from now on you are.”

I was completely beside myself when he talked to me like that. My own uncle! What had gotten into him? I felt I was looking at an emotionally frozen stranger.

An NPR Best Book of the Year 

“This is a captivating, harrowing book. Patience Ibrahim’s story will rattle, enrage, and inspire you. Told with suspense, emotion, and sensitivity, A Gift from Darkness shines a sorely needed light on the gruesome world of Boko Haram. But this is more than an eyewitness account of monstrous cruelty—it is a tale of one woman’s remarkable courage and a stirring reflection on the power of faith and love.” —Adam Fifield, author of A Mighty Purpose: How Jim Grant Sold the World on Saving Its Children

A truly terrifying journey. This is the riveting story of the compelling, human, and horrific experience of Patience Ibhahim.” —Ramaa Mosley, producer of Girl Rising

Praise for Raif Badawi, The Voice of Freedom:

“Aided by Middle East reporter Hoffmann, [Ensaf] Haidar reveals not only the harsh treatment of her husband, sentenced to ten years in a Saudi Arabian prison and 1,000 lashes for the crime of apostasy, but also the severe limitations on the lives of women in Saudi Arabia…A sobering exposé of Saudi culture and a tribute to the courage and strength of both the author and her husband.” —Kirkus Reviews