Author: Rachael A.Z Mutabingwa
Genre: Speculative Fiction
Book Blurb: Preston Pakello’s life seems to begin only when the death of a stranger brings three sisters to his home; the Island of Adavera. His life becomes intricately intertwined with theirs, and the journey each one takes, leaves a trail for the other to follow. All the while, the Island keeps a careful watch.
I was not expecting the emotions that I had while reading this book. I cried, I laughed, and then I was left stumped when I was done reading, staring at the book, wondering what to do with my life. Several days after I was done with the book, I had not started another. I had my very first multi-day book hangover. Usually, I grieve a book for a few hours and then I jump onto the next one, into the next world… But this? This book floored me.
Dear Rachael, you know those rabid fans of George R.R Martin who keep asking when The Winds of Winter will be released? I apologize in advance but I know I am becoming like those people. I am a huge fan and I have to ask, when is the next book in the series going to be released?
The book is named after the fictional island of Adavera and it is primarily a love story between two characters who I will not name (buy the book to find out more). But more than that, the book is a deep dive into mental health issues and the emotional damage that parents inflict their kids by their actions. A couple of the characters have mental health issues and the author delves deeply into how this affects them and the people around them.
The book is written in multiple points of view over a period of thirteen years. The multiple perspectives make the story that much richer, the reader is able to discover the world of Adavera through the eyes Preston and the Nvaleroah sisters. The Island is rich with culture, history, traditions and rife with superstition. I enjoyed how the author incorporated a lot of what is true to tradition but also adding a lot of depth to it.
A big part of the island and also a lot of what drives the book is the religion. A religion that is modeled after Christianity but that is shrouded in mystery. The God they worship is called Muuna. I would have loved to fully understand the religion and the culture but I suppose some mystery has to be left for the other books.
While reading this book, the same feeling I had when I was reading Paulo Coehlo’s Adultery, visited and stayed with me. Adultery was a book about a woman’s journey to self discovery and I found the same is true for this book. It is a journey to self discovery, a journey to discovery of purpose. A journey that all the characters undertake, growing up, fighting their demons, falling in love, discovering their sense of self, discovering their identities.
The book is written in an introspective style that I particularly enjoy. It explains a lot of the characters’ motivations but also, they have amazing insights into what life is about. Here is a quote I loved from the book:
…life was so much more than getting from one moment to the next – More than surviving. Life was about nuances… Life was about those little breaths of joy in between moments of despair and regret. Life was about those subtle differences that made one person different from another.Life was about glorifying in those differences and laughing over them. Life was about using those differences to find your purpose. And then living your purpose to completion.Page 328-329, ADAVERA.
And then there was that ending… An ending that left me reeling for a few days. I was so invested in the book and the characters that I didn’t see that ending coming. It hit me like a tonne of bricks. I wrote in my notebook, WHAT WAS THAT ENDING!?
Alls I can say is, y’all need to read this book.
If you’re in Uganda, you can get a copy of the book at leading bookstores or you can contact the author on her social media. Otherwise, the book does have a Kindle version on Amazon. The link is below.
You can follow the author, Rachael A. Z Mutabingwa on her social media.