Moon River and Me

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The last four years of Mykaela’s life have been something of an ordeal. On top of the day-to-day battles of going to high school, dealing with boys (well, one specific boy at least), and surviving a boisterous home life with four other siblings, she’s also had to deal with the specter of her mother’s cancer. As the cancer infiltrated her mother’s body, it also worked its way into Mykaela’s emotional life with devastating stealth. Giddy one moment, moody the next, her emotional rollercoaster stresses her relationships with friends, family, and finally, herself. Unsure of whom she is or whom she’s supposed to be, Mykaela takes a trip to get some breathing room and a chance to sort things out. Little did she know that half-way around the world, she’d meet some amazing people, one of whom would help her discover that you are only what you give yourself a chance to be.

As I read through this novel, it reminded me of a beginning knitter making a hand-knit sweater – in some places it’s thick and in some it’s thin, but overall, it still keeps you warm. The rhythm of the story fluctuates – sometimes flowing easily into a consistent weave of character, emotion, and setting, and, other times, it truncates itself with abrupt stops, direction changes, and emotional outbursts that feel a little forced – dropping into scenes like a bowling ball into a birthday cake. However, Zinda does an admirable job of capturing the emotional maelstrom of a child dealing with the inevitable loss of a parent. The fear, uncertainty, anger, and regret that Mykaela experiences is captured with gut-twisting clarity, as are her moments of startling enlightenment. Set against the (for Mykaela) unfamiliar backdrop of Europe, the struggles of Zinda’s protagonist may not always flow easily, but they’ll definitely capture your attention.

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Star Count 3/5
Format Trade
Page Count 326 pages
Publisher Create Space
Publish Date 14-Oct-2011
ISBN 9781466417403 Buy this Book
Issue March 2012
Category Popular Fiction


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