Sunday, 19 July 2015

Yellow Room by Shelan Rodger

Yellow Room
By Shelan Rodger
Published by Cutting Edge Books (18 June 2015)
ISBN: 978-1908122902

Publisher's description
Haunted by a tragic childhood accident, Chala's whole life has been moulded by guilt and secrets. After the death of her stepfather, who took his own secrets to the grave, Chala re-evaluates her life and volunteers at a Kenyan orphanage, where she gets caught up in the turmoil of the post-election violence that took over a thousand lives in 2008. But, although she can walk away from Kenya, she cannot walk away from herself… With a poignant insight into Kenya's recent crisis, Yellow Room is a drama that explores the power of secrets to run, and ruin, our lives.

My verdict
Yellow Room is a story of secrets, and also how our experiences shape us. It's a beautifully-written and highly thought-provoking novel.

A tragic accident has influenced all aspects of Chala's life - from her childhood friends to her hopes and dreams for the future. She has grown up believing that she accidentally killed her baby sister and has never overcome her feelings of guilt. The sudden death of her beloved step-father Philip triggers her memories of that particular day and the 'yellow room' to come flooding back.

As her relationship with her husband Paul becomes strained, Chala longs to return to Africa, particularly to the lake that she was named after, hoping that this will help her to come to terms with her past. She volunteers in an African orphanage, filled with rescued street children, and then gets caught up in the country's post-election violence. When Chala discovers a secret of her own, she is forced to return home earlier than expected.

The story moves quickly and I loved the detailed descriptions of Africa. The author writes with emotion and impact, using beautiful phrases and vivid language. The characters are flawed yet highly believable, and the story tugs on your heartstrings.

I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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