3 out of 4 stars
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Family is the smallest, yet most important unit in society. Family pretty much determines all of our traits. One's family maybe a foster or one that is due to blood relation. Having one gives us all or anyone a sense of belonging and pride. This story portrays the above and more. One thing, for sure, is that we can choose friends but not family.
As a young girl, Maureen was the delight of her parents. She always did what her parents expected of her until she met Jamal. The two may have fallen in love at first sight. This did not go well with Maureen's parents because they wanted her to cherish someone else. When Maureen turned down her parents expectations, they severed their ties with her and threw her out of their home. Therefore, Maureen turned to Jamal who she got married to, and together they had a daughter, Kalayla. Kalayla is a half-caste, given the fact that Maureen is of British origin well as that of Jamal is African. The events narrated began in 1999, even though we are filled in on those that took place in the years before. The author introduces the chapter, first of all, and then she takes us right to the point she intended it for and its climax as well.
The author starts off her story by slowly introducing to us the character's daily routines. For example, what any given character would be doing, while he or she noticed the events going on around him or her. The beginning was not that exciting, but I must admit I was pulled in by the character's commentary about who they are, what they think of themselves and others with whom they were usually interacting or seeing. As the story goes on, the author slowly unwraps all of the captivating events, especially the details and highlights of this story. As I kept reading, with the sole intent of collecting all of the important pieces of this story, I was surprised, touched and loved her thoughtfulness. This is in the fact that she gave credit, that is writing, to the thoughts, feelings, reactions, et cetera of the characters she highlighted. The chapters are mostly named Kalayla, Lena and Maureen, though with subheadings too.
I really loved the fact that she extensively highlighted the title of the story, that is Kalayla. She greatly elaborated about her feelings, thoughts, actions and reactions towards the other characters of this story. And their thoughts about her. I loved Kalayla also because, as the center piece of this story, she was truly who a child is, joyous, annoying, caring, protective, obedient, impolite, et cetera. I loved Lena because I got to understand more how the minds of those who have advanced in age operate, especially when they are loving, caring, understanding, et cetera. And of course, Maureen was the typical example of a diligent mother, who is slowly learning to adjust to the different changes that kept popping up in her life. I found Clarence and Joey very annoying. And in a way, I must admit if it was not for Clarence's earlier ugly experiences, Lena might not have been able to scare him away. More like that everything happens for a reason. I also loved all of the other characters who helped shape Kalayla and Maureen, for example, Carlotta, Rico, Kieran, et cetera. The one thing that I know is important that the author shaped very well is love. Love mends broken relationships and hearts, is a source of joy, fulfillment, goals, yearning, et cetera. And that everyone wants and needs it in their life.
Kalayla was authored by Jeannie Nicholas. The story teaches, and is, about the importance of love, relationships, dreams and family. This is a story that is full of moral lessons, for both the young and old. It teaches about all of the necessary considerations before forming opinions about others. The sad reality in every decision we choose to make and later fulfillment and enjoyment. The beauty in not giving up on what we aspire for no matter the situation. There is so much that I even think have not written about or thought about. I loved every section of this story. Therefore, I recommend it to those who love stories that talk about the basis and importance of family, with the considerations of the mistakes we commit, the beauty in having one and being united as one. Hence, I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars.
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