Jimmy Nzioki

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A Journey to Behold (Alexiah Mami) - Book Review

Ever read a simple but well-written memoir? If not, then Alexiah Mami Mdindi’s book, A Journey To Behold will definitely be worth your time and dime. 

The author wastes no time in transporting you into her world from where she grew up in Kighalla village. A place that was redolent with nature’s finest: a beautiful and flourishing land. One would dare imagine it to be a land flowing with milk and honey as the author gives a very vivid description of the scenery of her motherland in Taita-Taveta County, Kenya.

The author reminisces about her early childhood growing up in a traditional setting while accurately contrasting it with modern society. She relives what it was like growing up in the post-colonial world of Kenya in the ’70s, ’80s and the ’90s. At times the author takes a break from her narration of events and muses over how things are not as they once were owing to various socio-economic factors of then and now. She then ropes in the reader back into the present.

Her story is aptly scattered in the book making the reader continue flipping the pages in order to find out what happened. It is non-linear. She honestly takes you through the motions of her joy and sorrows brought about by life’s inevitabilities of gains and losses. Her raw feelings about the loss of her mother are quite apparent as you read through. The three “marriages” of life as she calls them are: birth, marriage and death. Stages that all of us will have to go through on this side of eternity. Her own near-death experience makes the reader realize the brevity of life and the faith that we need to possess in order to overcome certain trials in our lives. 

The book is also a repository of the author’s own memories and her delivery is simple and engaging. Generally, it is a good read for anyone who would want to experience the old and new Kenya in a new way through the author’s point of view.