Published: December 1, 2016
“Life is momentary for a reason; we live and try to live the most of it if we can, but it can only be governed by fate.”
Christmas Eve 1928 gave birth to a yearly phenomenon in South Africa. A herd of false killer whales were found beached upon the shore. It has also given birth to the story of two young children who meet an old woman named Kima. Kima somehow knows why this has happened, but that’s not all she knows. The children, Alex and Alice, realize that there is more to this woman that what meets the eye, and ear. She will reveal to them a tale, a mysterious story she claims was passed on to her by a mythical Black Seagull.
Derived from both historic tales and figures, Kima is a fictional character portrayed in a way that makes her become real.
The story of Kima gives the vibes of a myth or urban legend. Told in two different stories that made the plot, it is quite fascinating and whimsical; there is the story of Kima and the children and the fable that she tells them in order to understand and coped up with the problems that the children are facing. I really love the fable more than Kima’s story.
However, there are things that put me off while reading the story. As I’ve said, there are two stories in this book, Kima’s story is not quite solid as I want it to be. There are questions in my mind while and after reading the book. The book is so short and I feel like this is one of those books that could turn out much better if it were longer and some parts are detailed and explained well. I just feel like Kima’s impact in the story and the life of the children does not play out the way the author wanted it to translate to his readers while reading this. I feel like the character’s story is quite flat because they do not have much impact on me. Moreover, given that there are two stories the shift in from the fable to Kima is confusing at times. I got confused at times when the story suddenly shifts from one story line to the other.
But contrary to Kima’s story, the fable which is about the Black Seagull and his other companions in his journey would make you crave for more. I love how the author portrays that even if someone knows more than what he ought to, he is not perfect and there are things that he cannot do on his own. This story gets to me more than it does with the former. Although it is a myth for old Kima, it feels like a fable to me so I’ll keep saying fable. Someone died in the Black Seagull’s story and I did not expect that and it’s just so sad. And even though the author fails in the aspect of a smooth transition with regards the morals of this story is quite visible. Plus I like that you can consider this as a diverse read and it tackles some issues with regards to discrimination although it is quite vague.
All in all, I like this book. I just wished that the story of Kima was explained more. I really want to read more about the Black Seagull’s adventures. Do check it out! It is a quick read.
Big thanks to the author, Mr. A.H. Amin, for sending me a copy of his book. Do check out his book and you might find it perfect for a quick read in a cozy bed and a hot tea or coffee.
Till next time!