Saturday, 27 August 2016

Crossroads

Being a woman myself, it was easy for me to empathize with all the authors. Hats off to the Christopher for putting forth this awesome collection.

This anthology comprises of fifteen essays written by fifteen women from Uganda. Each essay is a reflection of the social fabric of the country and brings out its different facets. A real treat when it comes to understanding a new culture. The best part of these reflections are that they are not isolated, as in, many of the thoughts have a universal appeal. The social surroundings separate the gravity of various issues discussed.

Its not easy to compile an anthology with stories that have a strong emotional content attached to them. Hats off Chris for putting together these beautiful masterpieces. Each story is like a jigsaw puzzle piece and together they make a lovely picture. 

The writings are simple. However, there are issues like sexual abuse, violence, child abuse, and the like, thereby making this book out of reach for children. Yet, ask any woman who reads this and she will be able to truly empathise with the writings. The narration tugs your heart and I had a lump up my throat while I was reading a few pieces. The stories bring out issues that every woman, irrespective of gender, society or country, would have faced at some point of her life.

I cannot pick up favourites because each one evoked an emotion I cannot explain. There was pain, there was dejection, sense of loss, despair. How a simple name can lead to an identity crisis.Yet there was a feel of hope glimmering in the end. Hope for a better life, hope for the future. And, nothing in this world can be lost if hope acts as a guiding light. You would feel like sending only good wishes and pleasant thoughts to all the fifteen women who have shared their stories.

To sum up, this anthology is one collection that I as a reader would love to read again, especially when I am down in the dumps and at crossroads in my life. The stories help in not just bringing out realities of a woman's life, they exude hope for a brighter future.

P.S- Chris, loved this anthology. You helped give me stories to reach out to when I end up reaching the crossroads of my life.

Minor

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Minor is a memoir of a young teen, the trials and tribulations that she goes through during her growing up years. 

The book is written in the form of a journal and has all the essence that a personal journal is to have. It is candid, brutally honest and shows the emotions that Meghan must have gone through at that phase of life. It is a chronological account of the nineties and those belonging to this era would definitely be able to associate themselves with the songs, the language and the social fabric per se.

Sometimes, penning down one's thoughts and reading them later definitely helps one to emerge stronger and a better person. This is clearly evident from this journal as well. Meghan has bared a part of her soul and it does take lot of courage to do so. In the process, you end up showing your vulnerable side to the world. Kudos to you Meghan for being able to do so.

Teenage and teenache go hand in hand. There are lot of peer pressures to cope up with. The demands of social life, parental expectations, family dynamics, in fact so many associated things. This personal account of the author helps bring out the confusions and confessions that a teenager goes through during her growing up years.

To sum up, the very fact that Meghan has been able to be brutally honest and shared a part of her own life with the readers is commendable. It requires a lot of courage and pluck to do so. If you want to drift back to the nineties or want to understand that wondrous era gone by, do read this.

P.S- Meghan, your journal made me relive my Minor days as well. Loved your candid writings.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Chasing The Wind

Chasing the Wind (Aspen Valley Book 5) by [Hooton, Hannah]


There are stories that touch the core of your heart. The words reflect a pain that can make you wish you could scream as well. Hannah, I loved the story.

The plot revolves around a couple who are bound yet on the verge of separation by a single word "Loss". Now what the loss is all is something you need to read about else it would truly spoil the beautiful story. Notwithstanding, sometimes, it is this same emotion that finally brings in a ray of hope. Yes, loss tests you, pushes you to the corner and makes you wish you never existed. Yet, this very emotion shows you a little window through which a ray of hope percolates down to your very soul. The story line is beautifully depicted against the backdrop of horses, and all horse lovers will agree, these majestic beasts symbolize life and living it well.

Hannah, kudos to your writing. I don't care what other critics have to say, but you made me live as a part of your story. I felt I was one of the unseen characters before whose very eyes the story unfolds. And non-believers, believe you me, its not an easy task writing about pain and loss. The language is simple, yet it has the power to tug your heart strings. There are actually no imageries cropping up because this story will make you feel it is really happening around you. Simply loved the narrative.

The characters are the best part in this story. It is as if life has been infused into them. They have their flaws yet are lovable. They have their own sets of insecurities yet make the story line seem real. They have their own emotions yet it will make you empathize. Every individual in this story has justified his or her presence. Each one is chasing the wind and chasing it really well.

To sum up, this is a story I will return to when I wish to vent out my pent up emotions. It made me cry, it made me smile, above all, it made me re-appreciate that life was truly worthwhile. All is well that ends well with hope as the guiding light. A true worthy addition to your library.

P.S - Hannah, I loved chasing life's wind as I read your story and finally found my ray of hope in the end as well :-).