Stacking up the shelves


Nothing says “happy holidays” like receiving books from family and my lovely cousin bought me 3 books to read this week!

So, my shelf is looking pretty fancy right now 🙂

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Book Review: Rebirth of Syokimau by K. Kinambuga

I came across details on this book from the facebook page, Book Club-Kenya. I love historical fiction and any story that’s got a lead female heroine, has my attention.

Buy a copy online at : Kshs 390 or $4 visit FlicktrixMedia

The story revolves around Adana and her family. Whereas she’s in the present day, she often has memory lapses that are as vivid as they are chaotic, for they reveal unto her a life that’s not hers yet it truly feels like it is her. This dissociation lands her in trouble and she has to be bailed out all the time by her sister Mueni who is an advocate and as rational as the profession she practices.

The two are so different you cannot help but love how strong and stubborn they are in each of their convictions.

The character, Adana, as in the title is the modern day Kimau…and if you set aside her kleptomaniac trends, ability to lie with a straight face, the knack to leap without looking- you cannot help but empathize with her for being tormented by flashes of events that she can neither explain nor forget.

I started by saying that I love historical fiction and I looked up basic details about Syokimau and from the Wikipedia description:

Syokimau was a Kamba medicine woman and prophetess who lived in the 1800s long before Kenya became a colony. She was born and lived in Iveti Hills near the today’s Machakos town.[1] It is claimed that Syokimau could predict impeding attacks from other communities such as the Maasai and Gikuyu giving Kamba warriors ample time to prepare for the defense.[2]

This is a short read and the pace is slow in the first ten pages of the story. It does pick up towards the end and before you know it, it’s come to an end. There were instances where I felt it could do with editing of run-off sentences, however this did not stop me from enjoying the story.





Reading The Outcast by Sadie Jones


I bought a copy of Sadie Jones’ “The Outcast” in my most recent book haul.

It’s 352 pages and was first published in 2008 by Chatto & Windus Publishers.

You can get a copy on Amazon: here

A bit about what’s out there on the book: A mesmerizing portrait of 1950s hypocrisy and unexpected love, from a powerful new voice.

It is 1957, and Lewis Aldridge, straight out of prison, is journeying back to his home in Waterford, a suburban town outside London. He is nineteen years old, and his return will have dramatic consequences not just for his family, but for the whole community.
A decade earlier, his father’s homecoming has a very different effect. The war is over and Gilbert has been demobilized. He reverts easily to suburban life—cocktails at six-thirty, church on Sundays—but his wife and young son resist the stuffy routine. Lewis and his mother escape to the woods for picnics, just as they did in wartime days. Nobody is surprised that Gilbert’s wife counters convention, but they are all shocked when, after one of their jaunts, Lewis comes back without her.
Not far away, Kit Carmichael keeps watch. She has always understood more than most, not least from what she is dealt by her own father’s hand. Lewis’s grief and burgeoning rage are all too plain, and Kit makes a private vow to help. But in her attempts to set them both free, she fails to foresee the painful and horrifying secrets that must first be forced into the open.

In this brilliant debut, Sadie Jones tells the story of a boy who refuses to accept the polite lies of a tightly knit community that rejects love in favor of appearances. Written with nail-biting suspense and cinematic pacing, The Outcast is an emotionally powerful evocation of postwar provincial English society and a remarkably uplifting testament to the redemptive powers of love and understanding.

My take:

I don’t know what to make of books that break me…books that explore abuse, that make you want to dive in and fight off anyone who hits someone!

Lewis is the young boy whose mother drowns when he’s 10 years old and after that everything goes downhill. His father, Gilbert, does not express his emotions and he certainly keeps Lewis at arms length and to reinforce this distance he marries Alice, and soon after everyone in this suburb is whispering about Lewis and how weird he is…and then he’s cast out, his return only makes things worse.

There’s a part where he has to work for Dicky CarMichael and the man is downright offensive and Lewis only thinks…“but he wasn’t going to be angry, he was going to be quiet,” that line alone broke my heart.

Oh, in this book most of the families looked the other way, acted like nothing was wrong and that they were not hurting their children or worse off hurting themselves and then Lewis and Kit come along, two brave ones…who call everyone out on their lies…it’s a devastating read honestly…and more so because though it’s set in the 1950s, looking around nothing much has changed.