While the summary may sound bleak, the bigger story is about living life, one day at a time, in the midst of struggle and somehow finding hope and perseverance to live well. There are bits of family reconciliation and redemption at the end, and though they are imperfect moments, they are a reminder that we live in a broken world and that the best is yet to come.
While I don't read a ton of fiction these days (mostly because mom-life is busy and I tend to lean towards non-fiction when I have the time) I figured I could make time to read a book marketed as YA fiction, assuming it was a bit shorter than a full-length novel intended for an adult audience.
Here is a brief synopsis from the publisher:
J.A. Myhre, the author, serves as a doctor in East Africa and is passionate about health care for the poor. Myhre wrote this book, and two others as Christmas presents for her own children over the course of several years, which I think is incredible!
A Forest, a Flood, and an Unlikely Star is an engaging and interesting story that explores a culture, and the multifaceted issues of poverty, the healthcare crises and other interpersonal struggles related to these things in many remote African villages. It is a beautifully written book, that excels in developing the characters, the land around them and how the people and the land impact one another.
While I did find the book a bit slow in pace, I was intrigued by the story and wanted to finish. I needed to find out what happened to Kusiima and his family! It is a beautifully written story- I will always sit through a book-- even one that does feel slow-- if the writing is good!
While this was written for the author's children and marketed as YA literature, it is not a book that many young adults (that I know) will pick up on their own. That said, I think it's an excellent book to read alongside your young adult readers, to use as part of a classroom or homeschool curriculum, particularly while studying African culture. It's an excellent choice to help open a young person's eyes to the bigger picture of struggle in the world: In summary, YA's might need to be nudged towards reading this, but there will be great value in the experience.
There is much to be learned and appreciated in this series of books. I definitely recommend this book to young adult readers (maybe 10 and up?), as well as adults interested in the themes/landscape explored.
To learn more about J.A. Myhre and this book click here. To order A Forest, a Flood, and an Unlikely Star on Amazon, click here!