Reviews

Crucible for Silver & Furnace for Gold

By Moraa Gitaa

Set in Eastern Africa on the Kenyan coastal town of Malindi, 2008

Paperback; Published by Nsemia Inc. Publishers of Toronto, Canada; 264 pp. $20.00

ISBN: 978 0 9810362 2 9

Reviewed by Rosemary Aswani*

 

The title of this book – Crucible for Silver & Furnace for Gold is biblical. However, there is nothing biblical in the plot. The book presents challenges faced by the generation Xers in modern day Kenya and leaves the reader contemplating on moral dilemmas that lead to being judged by deeds.

This is an adult fiction book written in an informal style and intended to captivate the romantics at heart. End notes to clarify and explain abbreviations and phrases used throughout the book are provided at the end of the book. Readers on the local scene no doubt are familiar with the cultural diversity on the Kenyan coastline and will feel quite at home with some of the phrases/captions, for example….”on the backs of the matatus, the larger-than-life paintings of our own Genge music luminary Jua Cali…”

I have been to Kenya’s coastal town of Mombasa but never north to Malindi, but Moraa Gitaa made me visualize the town of Malindi so vividly, I could feel the hot white sand under my feet and paint the flora and fauna of the tropical rainforests in my mind.

Moraa has weaved a paperback romance novel whose heroine is feisty and fiercely independent. She is intelligent, talented and not afraid to follow her dreams.

I expected a Cinderella kind of story with the heroine going about the uneventful business of daily living and waiting for prince charming. Instead, this author ignites the reader’s identification with romantic adventure on-shore and off-shore waters of the Indian Ocean referred to in this book as the ‘sea’.

Crucible for Silver & Furnace for God is filled with interesting description of the various socio-economic issues, art and culture of a multi-racial community in the portal towns of Mombasa and Malindi. An aura of peace and solitude is presented vividly enough to entice any reader seeking a discreet get-away place where tradition and modern cultures have combined to create an ambience of tranquility.

The two main characters of the book, Lavina and Giorgio get involved in a multi-racial relationship that will surely require divine intervention for it to survive. If you want to know the trials and tribulations that plague Giorgio and Lavina, you will have to read the book.

RosemaryAswani is an upcoming author based in Hamilton Ontario. Her book, "Footsteps ... Traveling Footsteps", a collection of children stories will be published in late 2009

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