#BookReview The Black Mzungu by Alexandria Kathleen Osborne

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The Black Mzungu was a fantastic non-fiction read about the author, Alexandria Obsorne’s, incredible change in scenery.

I was shocked by how much I liked this book. I rarely find myself enjoying non-fiction or biographies, but this novel hit all the right notes with me. The author does a fantastic job retelling her life story of marrying a man from another country and moving there. Each chapter details the ups and downs of moving to a third world country and building a home there.

There are a lot of cultural insights and introductions to Lindi, Tanzania. Different terms and traditions are introduced in this novel and it gives an absolutely incredible insight into a world that is different compared to a First World Country.

Overall, I was impressed. I didn’t see anything wrong with this novel – it moved at a good pace, each chapter had a different story to tell that connected the entire novel together and it seemed real. Nothing seemed out of place or out of the ordinary.

I loved this book! I would love to read more about the author’s life in the future!

Five out of five stars!

I received this boook for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

What is your favourite non-fiction novel? Comment below!
If you enjoyed this review, check out another you might enjoy: #BookReview The Year After by Ashley Wagner

Use the hashtags #BriarsReviews and #TheBlackMzungu to start a conversation about this book! @ReviewAlholic

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#BookReview Someone You Love Is Gone by Gurjinder Basran

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Someone You Love is Gone by Gurjinder Basran is a beautiful novel centered around grief.

Picking this book up, after losing my own Father years ago, was kind of like therapy. I was able to see someone else facing the exact thing I had (keep in mind a different gendered parent) and having a similar response to me. Gurjinder Basran does a fantastic job of showing how grief affects a person.

The small losses of temper, without meaning to was a big part of mine and my Mother’s grief. Seeing this happen was truly incredible – our main character Simran does not purposely yell at her daughter or her husband, it just happens. The emotions that go through someone when experiencing grief is very expressive in this book – and it shows how talented this author is.

I’d hate to say this book is like a “slice of life” novel, but it is – but a slice of grief and the life that comes after. So many sayings that you don’t think about – like how you just get used to grief and it doesn’t get better – are displayed in this story. Before someone dies, you say that but don’t realize how true those sayings really are. You don’t realize how haunting it is to be here and that person who’s in your memories and clothes are still in their closets are just not there – they don’t exist anymore. This beautiful novel shows all of this, and it almost made me cry thinking about how honest this book is compared to my own grief.

I relate a lot of Sim, and I think this is why the book speaks to me so much.

<spoiler> When her husband comes home from work only to get changed to go out for drinks for work, leaving Sim behind when she really needs someone (and her daughter goes back to school and won’t even hug her mother goodbye) speaks to me on so many levels. All of my friends and family ditched me as soon as my Father died, leaving me alone for the final month of high school. Literally alone. It speaks to me so much on so many levels to see THIS IS REAL. This was not just my small reality, but this can be others as well – even if this book is fictional. </spoiler>

Overall, this book is truly beautiful. I could go on and spoil everything, but I would rather just state my opinion to finish it off.

This book shows the gradual change in grief – immediately losing a parent, dealing with the emotions after, dealing with relationships during grief, trying to pick what’s best and how to grieve, and the finale of finally accepting it.

This book should be read by those experiencing or who have experienced grief to understand. This was far better than any therapist or book I was forced to read during my grief – those self help books are rarely helpful, let’s be honest.

Five out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

 

Check out Gurjinder Basran on Goodreads! Gurjinder Basran on Goodreads

Or check out her website! Gurjinder Basran

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To Wendy’s With Love: the 22-year Lunch by Diane Keyes- BOOK REVIEW

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To Wendy’s With Love: the 22-year lunch is a love letter to all who have a family – blood bond or not.

Diane Keyes has done one miraculous job I had never expected to see in my life – she wrote a novel collecting Wendy’s, family, love, and warm, happy feelings all in one. This book truly hits all the right notes for me – it’s sweet, inspiring, heart melting and everything I needed in my life today. It’s a book that celebrates family – whether it be by blood or through experiences. And I can’t recommend this book enough!

This small but mighty book is a non-fiction recount of how a family came together for lunch once at week at Wendy’s. Diane highlights some of the rough and tough times that will make your heart clench up, but she also delivers some beautiful, motivating stories as well. Your heart won’t be able to take the extravagant roller coaster Diane makes in this book!

One lesson I learned from this book: Family is powerful.
Blood does not always define the family, and Diane shows this. She not only shows her strong bond with her genetically related family, but the friendships and bonds you can make with others. These simple lunches (that seem like such a silly but genius idea) really highlight how one small change (like meeting up with friends once a week) can really affect you!

I truly appreciate Diane’s hard work. You can tell this story is coming from the heart! Not only does it give a historical background, but it gives you an emotional one too. I am totally inspired by this novel, and I recommend everyone who wants a little splash of happiness and empathy in their life to pick this up.

Five out of five stars.

Book Review: PAPER IN THE WIND by OLIVIA-MASON CHARLES

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Photo via Goodreads.

“I came to the realization that a diagnosis of autism is not the end of the dreams that parents envision for their child. Have the courage to dream another dream and by the grace of God, your child will find the strength to embrace the gift of life and rise above their circumstances.”

Book Title: Paper in the Wind: Peeling back the lifespan of autism in the wake of tragedy
Book Author: Olivia Mason-Charles

Introduction: I was approached by Olivia Mason-Charles to review her book and I had to accept. Growing up there was a boy with Autism in my class throughout elementary school. I ended up bumping into him many times in the future. As a child, I never understood why he was so different and why he was always called “The kid with Autism” by everyone (students, teachers, principals, parents, etc). Now that I’m older and I understand more, I’m frustrated by this. He was not “The Boy with Autism”. He had a name and a story and a life. This story mirrored much of my thoughts – Autism may be a disorder, but it’s not a title. It’s a situation and shouldn’t be the only reflection someone sees in the mirror.

Book Review:

This book was inspiring, heart warming, and motivational. It describes the troubles a parent might have when they are raising children with autism. Yes, it gets hard and people need to realizeĀ  that. Parents try their very best and work incredibly hard to raise their children, so reading this little slice of life was awe inspiring. I appreciated reading about the hard work that goes into raising a child with autism and all the struggles that may come along with it.

The book was beautifully written and expressed many emotions. If people could read this book and try to understand the potential struggles, maybe there wouldn’t be as much bullying and hatred in this world. If I would have had this book growing up (but more aimed towards a child’s point of view) maybe I would have been able to get a little grasp on why the boy in my class behaved the way he did.

This book also was informative. Someone with Autism can have a “normal” life (is there even a “normal” life? That’s a debate for another day). They can still go to school, go to prom, get married, have children and have life experiences. They shouldn’t be labelled and put into a group that says they can’t!

This book made my heart swell. I felt like the Grinch at the end of his story, with my heart growing ten times bigger. I really appreciated having the opportunity to read this book. Without it, I wouldn’t feel as if I had grown or realized how much I had changed since I was younger. I do believe everyone should read at least one book like this in their life – a book that explains so beautifully what it’s like to be in someone else’s shoes. It gives you a small insight into someone’s life that you probably wouldn’t have even though about. It shows the struggles, but not in a negative light. It shows the positive outcomes that can happen, but explains some of the negatives as well.

That being said, this book gets five out of five stars.

Could it have had more action, adventure, horror or romance? Of course. But this book wasn’t designed to be a Jason Bourne, Temperance Brennan, It, or Nora Robert’s novel. This little book was to give a flash into someone else’s life. It’s goal it to inform, and not to make you feel scared, or romantic, or thrilled. This book did it’s job and I am so honored that I was given this chance to read it.

Five out of five stars.

I received this book in return for an honest review.