I was asked to review a book on my blog after I read it. Everyone that really knows me, would know that I love very few things in life more than reading. On Saturday night, (actually early hours of Sunday morning) after the rugby, where the Stormers made me so happy and proud I could just fall over and die, I was wide awake and started reading this book. It captivated me so much that I finished it by Sunday afternoon.
The writer, Taryn Hayes, is from Cape Town, South Africa. Cape Town has been her home since she was born. In the shadow of Table Mountain, the mountain where my heart is anchored, Taryn fell in love with words and discovered the joy of writing. She graduated from the University of Cape Town with a Bachelor of Social Science, majoring in English, history and psychology. She also has a teaching degree and was a teacher before she became wife to Craig and homeschooling mother of four children.
Seekers of the Lost Boy is her first novel and it is an excellent way to teach our history to young readers. Her story definitely stirred my heart and I think we are still going to hear a lot more about her.
The book is about Simon, the oldest child in the Ward family, who finds a bottle on the beach. He takes this bottle home and inside a letter is found that was written 30 years ago. The Ward children are home-schooled and they decide to try and track down the writer of the letter as a school project. The writer being an 11 year old boy from the Cape Flats and the year he wrote the letter is 1980, the question on his letter “Who is God and does he care about me?”
The search for this boy takes the reader through the history of District Six and the Cape Flats and some of the heart-wrenching experiences the people had when they were moved because of apartheid. The book is more religious than political, and the story is captivating. It is a story of friendship and forgiveness.
Although the book is clearly meant for younger readers, I was captivated by the story, by the historical and geographical facts and by the fact that it all happens in Cape Town – city of my heart.
Taryn has an excellent writing style and I will definitely read any other books of her. The religious part of the book didn’t bother me, as I believe in God as well. But it might become a bit much for other readers. However, I don’t think the writer must change what she writes about. It clearly came from the heart. To me this book was different from what I normally read, but I loved the story. I am looking forward to more books from Taryn Hayes.