Official Review: Kuimba by Priscilla B Shuler

Please use this forum to discuss historical fiction books. Common definitions define historical fiction as novels written at least 25-50 years after the book's setting.
User avatar
Espie
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 4061
Joined: 05 May 2018, 06:36
2019 Reading Goal: 12
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 125
2018 Reading Goal: 12
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 116
Favorite Book: Behind the Barbed Wire Fence
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 115
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-espie.html
Latest Review: The eight steps to financial freedom by Dr BA Mabaso

Official Review: Kuimba by Priscilla B Shuler

Post by Espie » 07 May 2019, 05:22

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Kuimba" by Priscilla B Shuler.]
Book Cover
4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review


It was on that last day of July 1914 that a blue-eyed boy was born. As the screams of childbirth soon died down in that rural shack, otherworldly yet musically sounding cries of the newborn baby filled the air. If his eyes’ color wasn’t unique enough for the offspring of an African-American couple, the series of unusual, miracle-like events starting from his birth made him undoubtedly not far from being heaven-sent. That was just the beginning.

A “surreal, soulful, and stirring” story and more, Kuimba by Priscilla B Shuler deserved 4 out of 4 stars.

For history enthusiasts, it may be quite a common knowledge that this fiction’s initial timelines also coincided with the start of the first world war. However, its theme was not about any of that period but of something better, especially for those like me who would prefer the brighter side. It should be noted that the Americans would only be joining the Allied forces around three years after the period. Thus, while the noise, toils, and atrocities had been brewing in other parts of the globe, this piece took its characters to a parallel realm of ethereal melodies for their ears and fantastic situations to spontaneously grace a number of their years instead.

Tenants at the time may still be experiencing what had been termed as a different kind of “slavery” as they were forced to give huge shares of their crops and harvests to their landlords. Such would defy what could be acceptable in our present times. Nevertheless, it was quite interesting to note how they acknowledged the reality that their situation was already a great improvement from what their ancestors had before the abolition of chattel slavery around half a century earlier. The storyline went a bit deeper than a mere chronicle of historical events as it also amply explored beliefs and matters of the soul. As the former slaves gained their freedom, their faith remained. Their resolve was bound to become even stronger against another form of enslavement – that from sin.

There were only three glaring editing or proofreading lapses that I spotted so far on the 178 pages of the electronic manuscript. Misspelled words and obliterated language proliferated in most of the pages. I think, though, that the dialogues’ lexical variations were even meant to reinforce more nuanced characterizations. The pace seemed slower than what I would have been more inclined to appreciate in a fictional work. Nonetheless, I think that what may have been another shortcoming turned out to be an advantage; the unhurried tempo also ultimately allowed the eventual ample development of the characters’ personalities and peculiarities as well as vividly depicted the setting’s details. Further, as compelling as any other account of metaphorical redemption was the second chance at life that the supposed antagonist and others like him (and the rest of us) could possibly have. Indeed, this was also a proverbial tale of hope for hopeless cases, glimmer beyond the dark clouds or light at the end of a tenebrous tunnel.

******
Kuimba
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon

Like Espie's review? Post a comment saying so!
"Life has many different chapters for us. One bad chapter doesn't mean it's the end of the book."-Unknown
"To err is human; to forgive, divine."-Alexander Pope
"Put GOD first; He'll bless your efforts with success."-Proverbs

User avatar
kandscreeley
Special Discussion Leader
Posts: 7970
Joined: 31 Dec 2016, 20:31
2019 Reading Goal: 95
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 37
2018 Reading Goal: 115
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 94
2017 Reading Goal: 100
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 94
Currently Reading: Scorched
Bookshelf Size: 272
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kandscreeley.html
Latest Review: The Descent of the Phoenix by Morgan Paul Cooper

Post by kandscreeley » 08 May 2019, 08:49

Though it takes place around WWI, it doesn't sound like it really has anything to do with it. This is its own story with its own merits. I'm not sure it'd be one I would enjoy, but your review was intriguing. Thanks so much.
“There is no friend as loyal as a book.”
― Ernest Hemingway

User avatar
Meg98
Posts: 101
Joined: 31 Mar 2019, 22:10
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 12
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-meg98.html
Latest Review: Health Tips, Myths, and Tricks by Morton E Tavel, MD

Post by Meg98 » 08 May 2019, 09:32

Seems like a very unique and educating story... your review has intrigued me, and I will be checking out this book. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, well done!
Oh love, never be afraid to fly :wink2:

kdstrack
Posts: 2673
Joined: 10 May 2017, 19:49
2019 Reading Goal: 100
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 49
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 106
Currently Reading: Immortals' Requeim
Bookshelf Size: 232
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kdstrack.html
Latest Review: Living With Alzheimer’s: A Journey Observed by Leigh Smyth, MD

Post by kdstrack » 08 May 2019, 11:10

The author's double perspective on enslavement in compelling. I appreciated your comments on the slow tempo that allows for ample character development. This looks interesting. Thanks.

User avatar
Rachel Lea
Posts: 241
Joined: 25 Feb 2019, 19:29
Currently Reading: Murdered
Bookshelf Size: 35
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-rachel-lea.html
Latest Review: The Mindset by Ace Bowers

Post by Rachel Lea » 08 May 2019, 13:35

A very interesting premise for a story... I'm curious to see where exactly the author takes it. Thank you for your review!
"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies... The man who never reads lives only one." -- George R.R. Martin :techie-studyingbrown:

Bluebird03
Posts: 744
Joined: 29 Dec 2018, 20:13
2019 Reading Goal: 65
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 141
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 100
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-bluebird03.html
Latest Review: The Ordinary Doll by Mario Kiefer

Post by Bluebird03 » 08 May 2019, 15:57

I love the idea of second chances. Your review was quite powerful and certainly did the book justice. Thank you for your insights!

User avatar
Espie
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 4061
Joined: 05 May 2018, 06:36
2019 Reading Goal: 12
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 125
2018 Reading Goal: 12
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 116
Favorite Book: Behind the Barbed Wire Fence
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 115
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-espie.html
Latest Review: The eight steps to financial freedom by Dr BA Mabaso

Post by Espie » 08 May 2019, 21:49

kandscreeley wrote: ↑
08 May 2019, 08:49
Though it takes place around WWI, it doesn't sound like it really has anything to do with it. This is its own story with its own merits. I'm not sure it'd be one I would enjoy, but your review was intriguing. Thanks so much.
This wouldn't be one that people would normally expect given the more well-known historical events around the period. However, you're perfectly right. The deviation didn't diminish but, instead, even highlighted this book's worth. I understand that we've got peculiar interests, though, and that's to be respected. Thank you for sharing your wise thoughts and kind words.
"Life has many different chapters for us. One bad chapter doesn't mean it's the end of the book."-Unknown
"To err is human; to forgive, divine."-Alexander Pope
"Put GOD first; He'll bless your efforts with success."-Proverbs

User avatar
Espie
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 4061
Joined: 05 May 2018, 06:36
2019 Reading Goal: 12
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 125
2018 Reading Goal: 12
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 116
Favorite Book: Behind the Barbed Wire Fence
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 115
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-espie.html
Latest Review: The eight steps to financial freedom by Dr BA Mabaso

Post by Espie » 08 May 2019, 21:55

Meg98 wrote: ↑
08 May 2019, 09:32
Seems like a very unique and educating story... your review has intrigued me, and I will be checking out this book. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, well done!
There are heaps of takeaways from this piece, indeed, that may also transcend what's merely cerebral. I do hope you'd read and find this piece as worthwhile as I did. Thank you as well for sharing your thoughts and kind words.
"Life has many different chapters for us. One bad chapter doesn't mean it's the end of the book."-Unknown
"To err is human; to forgive, divine."-Alexander Pope
"Put GOD first; He'll bless your efforts with success."-Proverbs

User avatar
Espie
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 4061
Joined: 05 May 2018, 06:36
2019 Reading Goal: 12
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 125
2018 Reading Goal: 12
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 116
Favorite Book: Behind the Barbed Wire Fence
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 115
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-espie.html
Latest Review: The eight steps to financial freedom by Dr BA Mabaso

Post by Espie » 08 May 2019, 22:02

kdstrack wrote: ↑
08 May 2019, 11:10
The author's double perspective on enslavement in compelling. I appreciated your comments on the slow tempo that allows for ample character development. This looks interesting. Thanks.
Some would even say that slavery has not been perfectly eradicated as it only took different forms. What would matter more, though, is that we recognize and aim to resolve the issues. There's always a brighter side of things that could be seen or worked for, indeed. Thank you as well for sharing your insights and kind words.
"Life has many different chapters for us. One bad chapter doesn't mean it's the end of the book."-Unknown
"To err is human; to forgive, divine."-Alexander Pope
"Put GOD first; He'll bless your efforts with success."-Proverbs

User avatar
Espie
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 4061
Joined: 05 May 2018, 06:36
2019 Reading Goal: 12
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 125
2018 Reading Goal: 12
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 116
Favorite Book: Behind the Barbed Wire Fence
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 115
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-espie.html
Latest Review: The eight steps to financial freedom by Dr BA Mabaso

Post by Espie » 08 May 2019, 22:09

Rachel Lea wrote: ↑
08 May 2019, 13:35
A very interesting premise for a story... I'm curious to see where exactly the author takes it. Thank you for your review!
Exactly. I do hope you'd read and find it as worthwhile as I did. Thank you as well for sharing your thoughts.
"Life has many different chapters for us. One bad chapter doesn't mean it's the end of the book."-Unknown
"To err is human; to forgive, divine."-Alexander Pope
"Put GOD first; He'll bless your efforts with success."-Proverbs

User avatar
Espie
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 4061
Joined: 05 May 2018, 06:36
2019 Reading Goal: 12
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 125
2018 Reading Goal: 12
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 116
Favorite Book: Behind the Barbed Wire Fence
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 115
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-espie.html
Latest Review: The eight steps to financial freedom by Dr BA Mabaso

Post by Espie » 08 May 2019, 22:21

Bluebird03 wrote: ↑
08 May 2019, 15:57
I love the idea of second chances. Your review was quite powerful and certainly did the book justice. Thank you for your insights!
Same here. I'd rather not give up on anyone (including myself) that easily as far as possible, too. It's good that books like this one emphasize how it's not altogether far from happening.

Thank you as well for your insightful and kind comments!
"Life has many different chapters for us. One bad chapter doesn't mean it's the end of the book."-Unknown
"To err is human; to forgive, divine."-Alexander Pope
"Put GOD first; He'll bless your efforts with success."-Proverbs

User avatar
Sahani Nimandra
Posts: 2045
Joined: 27 Nov 2017, 22:49
2019 Reading Goal: 100
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 24
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 100
2017 Reading Goal: 5
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 5
Favorite Book: Harry Potter and The Sorceress Stone
Currently Reading: Man of the World
Bookshelf Size: 698
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-sahani-nimandra.html
Latest Review: I once had a Farm in Ireland by Siggy Buckley
Reading Device: Huawei

Post by Sahani Nimandra » 09 May 2019, 05:16

Thank you for this intriguing piece! I was much awoken by the idea of a WWII periodic read as this, but was quite put out when the writing just edged which sounded like lagging.
The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid! - Jane Austen :techie-studyingbrown:

User avatar
Prisallen
Posts: 854
Joined: 27 Feb 2019, 18:57
2019 Reading Goal: 104
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 27
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 34
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-prisallen.html
Latest Review: Three Graves by Zack Kaplan

Post by Prisallen » 09 May 2019, 12:04

I love books with good character development and this sounds like a good book. Good review!

User avatar
unamilagra
Posts: 489
Joined: 07 Feb 2019, 22:57
2019 Reading Goal: 20
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 150
Currently Reading: The Explosive Child
Bookshelf Size: 43
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-unamilagra.html
Latest Review: Battlecraft VR by Linden Storm
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Post by unamilagra » 09 May 2019, 19:50

This is a beautifully written review of what sounds like a beautiful story. I'm glad it explored some different themes than that of typical books from that time period.

User avatar
Espie
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 4061
Joined: 05 May 2018, 06:36
2019 Reading Goal: 12
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 125
2018 Reading Goal: 12
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 116
Favorite Book: Behind the Barbed Wire Fence
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 115
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-espie.html
Latest Review: The eight steps to financial freedom by Dr BA Mabaso

Post by Espie » 09 May 2019, 20:54

Sahani Nimandra wrote: ↑
09 May 2019, 05:16
Thank you for this intriguing piece! I was much awoken by the idea of a WWII periodic read as this, but was quite put out when the writing just edged which sounded like lagging.
It would be quite normal to expect this piece to turn out as you've indicated. However, more often than not, out-of-the-box books have their way of coming closer to my heart and mind than the cookie-cutter ones could. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
"Life has many different chapters for us. One bad chapter doesn't mean it's the end of the book."-Unknown
"To err is human; to forgive, divine."-Alexander Pope
"Put GOD first; He'll bless your efforts with success."-Proverbs

Post Reply

Return to “Historical Fiction”