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VanessaJaye

Vanessa Jaye's Book Daze

Romance author and enthusiastic reader
The Bite of the Mango - Mariatu Kamara, Susan McClelland This ia a harrowing tale and one can't help but admiring Mariatu's indomitable spirit to overcome & endure all that she has in her relatively short life.

But as for the actual writing/relating of the story..., I skimmed through some earlier reviews and noted two couple of comments that resonated with my experience reading this memoir.

1) Surprisingly, I didn't feel as emotionally engaged as I expected I would be. I think this was in part for me because there were chunks of time that were skipped over in a sentence or two.

2) While the begining of the book was told in a clear simple style, which worked well with the very young age she was at that time, as her experiences piled on, her world expanded, and she grew up, the 'voice' remained relatively young. There was very few moments more mature awareness or deepened perceptions or more sophisticated epiphanies. I ultimately felt there was a lot of glossing over things/events/emotions/opinions and spent a lot of time puzzling out those 'gaps' and the associated whys/hows instead of being caught up in the active narrative.

Just few more things I mulled over after reading that I found distracted from my total immersion in the book:

People who appeared or disappeared in with just a short sentence or two. In many cases they'd either been gone or had entered Mariatu's life weeks or month earlier.

Also felt that there was a disengagement on some levels in the telling of events, which was the crux of my own lack of emotional involvement. And a few places where there was heavy exposition that I wasn't sure were true discussions that acutally happened, or were info dumps for the reader's benefit.

Still this was a book that was eye-opening, distressing and absolutely worth the reading and I'm glad I had the opportunity to do so.