3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
There is not a single person on earth who has not retrospected and wondered how life would have been different if s/he took bold decisions at the right time. In this story, the protagonist regrets not leaving her abusive marriage when her kids were still young.
Kalayla by Jeannie Nicholas is an easy read fictional Novel with an emotional touch to the story. The author has portrayed the characters in a way that readers can instantly find a connection with them. They appear to be people living next door. The story revolves around the lives of three female characters who are struggling with different issues. Lena, the old lady, who lives alone and manages her real estate business, feels guilty of not keeping her family together. Maureen, the single mother, feels overwhelmed with the responsibility of raising her daughter without much family support. She is struggling to maintain her sanity, working two jobs after the death of her husband. Kalayla is a witty, outspoken, and strong-willed eleven-year-old girl who has learned to be independent, as her mother, Maureen, is at work most of the day.
Lena finds a purpose in her life to parent again when she sees how the little girl, Kalayla, is wasting her time on the streets, and her mother herself needs motherly care. Would Lena fulfill her aspiration to bring balance to Maureen's family? Would Kalayla be turned into productive activities? Would Lena ever be united with her sons? Readers have to find out answers to these questions upon reading the book.
The author brings many social issues to the limelight, like interracial marriages, finding love in old age, breaking an abusive relationship, daughters stepping up to inherit a business, gay couples, animal welfare, etc. Full marks to the author for acknowledging the existence of these issues in our society. The author has weaved the story around these issues meticulously.
I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars, the pros being the captivating flow of the story, vivid descriptions of various cuisines, addressing social stigmas, and relatability of the characters. The con was- too much emphasis on parenting, for example, how Lena parented her sons, Kalayla not getting enough parenting, or Maureen's father over-parenting his grandson by forcing him to join certain activities. There were some instances of sexual abuse as per the requirement of the story.
I recommend this book to adult readers who enjoy light fictional books and do not mind a few instances of violence. This book will make you yearn for your best friend whom you can turn to for any problem in the world and who can comfort your soul.
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon