Book review, New stuff

Help Next Door – Stories Straight from the heart

My renewed love for books is being rekindled and I am loving it.

To begin this new status, I have picked a book ‘ Help Next Door’ – A collection of stories straight from the heart.

This is a collection of stories from a number of writers from all over the world. They all belong to a whats app writers book club called Maple Brook Writers. It is based in Nairobi Kenya and it has given a platform for upcoming writers blossom in this field. It is a great place to practice ones writing skills and be coached on how to make the best out of it.

The above book is actually a collection of stories that the members came up with. The moderator Ms. Tabitha Kihara. She has also recently released her own book “The Beauty of Waiting”

Please see some of the reviews below.

Life is a bully’ by Gilbert Mwangi

Gilbert’s writing taught us that in life everybody is important no matter his status in society and that old friends are real friends indeed. His maternal uncle, who is often in drunken stupor, played an important role in the writer’s teenage life when it matters most in connection with his high school education. Also, through his uncle wisdom the title of this story was cleverly coined by him. Life is not only a bully but a throwback as well as one has to be paid back in his or her own coin, for cheating and unjust means do surely get rewarded in the right time.

Touching on single parent, though not easy, the zeal, determination, focus and sacrifices exhibited by the writer’s mom in shaping his life were sterling and highly commendable and thus a moral booster and clarion call for most single parent that there is a great light at the end of the tunnel and that all is not loss if they are so determined to make it.

The story also highlights some noteworthy areas like ‘mau mau days’ – good for history lovers and researchers, and the rivers, highlands /mountains, rainfall and forests serve as a good tourist potential for the village. Truthfully every village has something to offer.

Whether the writer is a lawyer as envisioned and destined to save his relatives from the long unending land feudal battle dating far back to ‘mau mau era’, one has to find out from the book.

The ability to adapt to new environment, forget about disappointing, painful events and well determined and focus to achieve one’s dreams and vision are well captured there in the story.

This is a captivating story touching on some real life’s issues. It keeps the reader’s interest aroused, gluing to the pages as s/he reads like watching a great movie.

The creativity, entertaining, sense of humour, purpose and fluidity of words laced with wisdom displayed in the story serve as a perfect stock in trade for those in the creative art – film, movie – industry. Seekers and builders of strong vocabulary will surely find this book as a perfect companion.

Reviewed by David Lawson


‘Garissa After Dark’ by Gilbert Mwangi

This is a powerful story that a reader will never forget in his or her life. The writer, being a wordsmith, cleverly brings this town to live and its true nature to light.

The wrong impressions, stereotypes, beliefs, hearsays about the township of Garissa peddled by some media houses and street gossips were all proven wrong when the writer came face to face with the real fact on the ground; and lo and behold! The beauty of Garissa, one of the most fascinating and lively towns in Northern Kenya, was revealed. There is always a truth about every city, town, village and Garissa is no exception.

The reader keeps wondering why the residents of Northern Kenya never considered themselves to be Kenyans. Were there wars, misunderstandings, amenities and resources clearly and evenly not distributed as the central government shared the national cakes; what might actually have been the causes? The writer did not tell us and one has to read between the lines to discover these mysteries.

The writer in an attempt to save the youth of the town from HIV and AIDS was fiercely and angrily met with strong rebuttals and a big no by the religious and opinion leaders. Timing to act and knowledge and history of a society are very important and never to be downplayed.

Well, would the writer abandon this worthy cause and forfeit his monthly payment? As he pondered deeply on what strategy he should adopt in driving home his NGO’s mission, while sipping in a drink an angel came to him out of the blue and gave him the answer. Armed with this, he subdued and conquered the religious, opinion leaders as well as the diehards and became the mighty hero, the rescuer and saviour of the youth of Garissa.

Reviewed by David Lawson

1 thought on “Help Next Door – Stories Straight from the heart”

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