4 out of 4 stars
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Kalayla is a captivating story I cannot forget anytime soon. It is the story of three amazing ladies of different ages and backgrounds. Lena, a 72-year-old grandmother who had been living an isolated life, and dislikes herself for being a failed mother. Maureen, a single mother who had lost her family and is trying her best to be a good mother to her only daughter, Kalayla. Kalayla, an 11-year-old girl very outspoken with a know-it-all personality. Lena developed an interest in Kalayla because her mother is too busy to properly look after her. Both families found companionship in each other and brought into each other’s lives a new shade of colour. How did this pan out? Find out in this interesting and hard-to-put-down book by Jeannie Nicholas.
First off, I must confess that the style of writing deployed by the author brought out the beauty of the storyline. Each character narrates the story from their point of view. The chronological arrangement of scenes ensured I wasn’t lost and gave more clarity to the book. The book is full of suspense and has flashes of humour. The characters are few and as a result, they are well-developed without sacrificing quality or creating confusion. The heat was turned on right from the first chapter till the last.
Speaking of the characters, Kalayla is an outspoken and pre-teen girl who is full of energy and believes she can freely say anything she wants as long as it pleases her. She is full of sarcasm, and this makes for some humorous situations. She seems to be a tough young girl, but I loved that she is correctable. Maureen, on the other hand, is fragile but with strong willpower. Few people can put up with what she had faced. Lena is a principled and no-nonsense grandma who failed as a mother, in part because of whom she married. I loved Kalayla’s and Lena’s conversations the most.
The book properly blends all the points of view of each character and contains tons of lessons. Through the reflections of the characters, you'll easily relate to the experiences of each of the characters which played an important role in the formation of their present behaviour. The book redefines what family is. Consistent with the book, a family is redefined as people that are there for each other in times of need. It shows that family is more than blood relations. It also teaches that regardless of how we are treated, we should always forgive and reach out to people willing to reach out to us. Also, parents should allow their children to follow their dreams and not impose their desires on the children. Only when this is done can both the parents and the children be truly happy. The book also teaches that the results of racism are never a happy one. There is peace in coexistence.
The book is efficiently edited because I found no error in the book. There is nothing that I particularly dislike about the book. Therefore, I will rate this book 4 out of 4 stars.
I will gladly recommend this book to parents and to those who love a book with a memorable storyline. It does contain some profanities, so I will advise children that are under 13-years to stay off this book. Also, readers that could be offended by abusive scenes might want to stay off this book. In all, Kalayla is a good book with an outstanding storyline.
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