Rarely does a book keep surprises to the very last page, but this one did. I thought I knew it all, but maybe you never do?
Yellow is the colour of the third chakra, associated with our sense of self-worth, the place where guilt and secrets dwell. Why are we so fascinated by secrets? Why do we have secrets? Whether they are born of fear or shame, denial or the urge to protect or avoid hurting another, so often they create pain and guilt. We pay a price for the things we keep bottled inside us, and sometimes the bottle bursts.
I was told this book was about a young woman being confronted with her past while caught in the post-election crisis in Kenya in 2008 and in a sense, this is certainly true. However, this book is so much more than that.
On a personal note I must say I had very little attention to give this book; I as reading between errands and for a very short periods before bed and it didn’t deserve that. And although it could’ve well been a week of very little reading, this book drew me in. As soon as I had read a page or two, I wished I didn’t have to stop again.
We all grow up with issues and have a past to deal with. Chala has to live with herself, knowing that as a toddler she killed her baby sister and that this accident drove her mother away. It is not an easy cross to carry and one can only imagine what it must feel like for a grown woman to live with that truth. Shelan Rodger has turned this into a riveting account of a young woman’s aim to get over the past that has been haunting her her entire life.
‘Shh-shh-‘ says Chala, growing distraught and pushing the pillow down harder to muffle the sound of her sister’s cries. ‘Stop crying, Emma. Stop!’ Emma struggles and splutters, and Chala pushes harder and harder, and suddenly the crying stops.
When Chala lifts the pillow, her sister’s eyes are wide open.
Married to Paul, and close to her father and best friend, Chala seems to have her life together. But life is unpredictable and when it gets out of balance, it takes a trip to Kenya, to memories of her parents, to an orphanage and witnessing a crisis we can hardly imagine, to let Chala refocus and finally come to terms with her childhood.
The Yellow Room by Shelan Rodger
published June 2015 by Cutting Edge Press
ISBN: 1908122900 (ISBN13: 978-1908122902)