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Lies that Blind

After being banished to Calcutta two years prior by his British father, Jim Lloyd decides to leave this place when the opportunity to live up to his ambitions presents itself. Lies That Blind by E.S Alexander is based on a true story taking place in Malaya during the 18th century. Starting off in India, Jim heads to Penang in Malaya to become Captain Francis Light’s new assistant in order to write a chronicle about this fame-driven captain. The readers will follow his new life in this new place where he needs to adapt and make trustworthy friendships.

This fascinating story is written using rich details and historical facts. The readers are brought into what life was like in Penang as if they were the ones settling there, and they witness the growing friendship between Jim and Light. It is clear that the author did a lot of research about the Malaya culture, embracing it without disrespecting it. This shows through Jim’s love for other cultures and mainly towards the Malay’s religion and ways of living. Furthermore, being a historical novel, this book contains a lot of trade and military tactics, allowing the readers to understand how trade used to work during colonial times.

While I enjoyed the book, I felt that the story seemed slow in some chapters; being told from Jim’s point of view, he describes some details that seem irrelevant and/or slightly dull. But I also appreciate how this gives the story an air of authenticity and shows how one’s interests and opinions can differ from another’s.

The author teaches readers a lot about this time period and about Malaya colonization while being respectful and not overlooking the harsh facts surrounding colonization. This exciting adventure novel gives readers a look at the trading aspects of the colonization of Malaya through a compelling coming-of-age narrative.

Pages: 278 | ASIN : B09HKXYT12

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Just Arrived

Just Arrived: A Different World by Bona Udeze is the informative and detailed account of a young man from Africa on his journey towards living in another country. It is a fantastic representation of what immigrants experience and the people they meet as they travel to start their lives somewhere else, in this case the protagonist Emeka Mmadunebo is beginning his life in America.

The first person narrative allows the reader to gain an insight into the main characters thoughts and feelings towards his brand new adventure, as well as how he explores his emotions towards his life back home. Almost written in the style of a diary, you follow each challenge he faces and experience the joys and turbulence of his entire journey.

Highlighting the contrasts between the two very different cultures of Africa and America is done excellently, especially when the narrator questions some of the tales he is told by others who have been to the U.S. through one of the many flashbacks of his life in Africa. This thought-provoking saga emphasizes to the reader some of the things taken for granted and how these may be seen by those from a different background.

Another way Emeka’s culture is threaded throughout is with the clever use of dialect, phrases such as ‘akara and akamu’ draw the readers attention to the cultural origin of the main character. In some places this can become a little harder to read, for example ‘You wan changi dalla, or you wan buy American dalla or Britis poun?’ by writing this phonetically it can sometimes become difficult for the reader to imagine the voice of a character.

Just Arrived: A Different World by Bona Udeze, highlights cultural differences from several perspectives. Written in the style of a diary or a biographical account rather than in the style of a novel readers will be immersed in the characters lives and emotions. This engrossing book is a great fit for readers that enjoy cultural fiction and family life fiction.

Pages: 310 | ASIN : B09GX9K453

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