How Far Would You Go For Your Life Purpose?

Fiction - Inspirational
278 Pages
Reviewed on 10/03/2018
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite

In Mukurob by Andre Costa, Father David Callaghan has become disenchanted with his life and the morals of humankind after the brutal murder of his childhood friend, Karen, by violent extremists. He searches within himself to find peace and questions the decisions he has made in his life. David takes a sabbatical from the church and travels to the Kalahari Desert to volunteer with a group of anthropologists studying the oldest known tribe of people in history. The San people date back 20,000 years and their values and beliefs about their fellow man and spirituality are a fascinating insight for David. His fellow scientists also have profound questions for David which force him to take stock of his life and future. David has travelled a long way to search for his own Garden of Eden, and the answers to why humanity has become so disjointed. Will he find what he has been searching for in the wilderness of Africa or have the answers been with him all along?

The author has very cleverly introduced some interesting and thought-provoking philosophical questions through this engaging adventure story. The characters are extremely diverse, each with strong and engaging personalities. The protagonist, David, was extremely likable; he had flaws but he was willing to learn from not only the San tribe, but also from the scientists he met. Jack was also a fantastic character. I loved his zest for life and his view on the world was refreshing. The San people had a terrific belief system which incorporated spirituality into their lives without judgement of others, and where there is no deity or hierarchy. I have never read a story of this quality which engaged me on so many levels, both spiritually and emotionally. There are some excellent quotes and viewpoints from the characters as they try to make sense of mankind. ‘Beauty ends when we become accustomed to it.’ The questions David is asked by his companions could be asked of us too. Could we sometimes be ignoring all the options open to us in life? I feel anyone who reads this book will be changed for the better after reading it. The sermon by David in the Epilogue was just the icing on a unique, memorable novel.

K.C. Finn

Mukurob is a work of fiction, intended to inspire, which asks the question: How far would you go for your life purpose? Written by Andre Costa, this contemporary novel spans drama, adventure and philosophical themes to deliver its overall message considering true purpose and human nature. When a young Irish priest begins to read about the ancient San people, the oldest known race on Earth, it inspires him to become directly involved in anthropology. Seeking a restoration of his faith, Father David travels to Africa for the investigation where a whole new set of dilemmas, mysteries and personal discoveries await him.

Andre Costa crafts a convincing story around the intention to consider the journey of humanity and what its true purpose may be. David, Andreas and Marie make a fulfilling trio of personalities who are well balanced and realistically human, and the mixture of faith and science (although it’s a time-old tradition in this type of fiction) was very well considered and integral to the plot. Though the dialogue and concept sometimes got a little heavy, the overall discoveries made in the story are worth sticking around for. It was also really interesting to consider history and the contemporary at the same time, seeing the modern actions of characteristically ‘bad’ people against the backdrop of the ancient ways of living. For me, overall, Mukurob turned out to be an interesting piece of fiction with clever research and theorizing set amongst an original story line with convincing and uplifting characters. A recommended read.

Mamta Madhavan

Mukurob: How Far Would You Go For Your Life Purpose? by Andre Costa revolves around three main characters: Father David Callaghan, a young priest, Andreas Ecklund, a Swedish anthropologist, and Dr. Marie Steenson, a former Norwegian student at the Lund University. The story delves into the human psyche and the need to be true to yourself. Father David Callaghan is fascinated by the San people after reading an article about the history of the region of Africa they call home, the Kalahari Desert between Namibia and Botswana. The idea of a young country like Namibia being the home of the living ancestors of the most ancient humans catches his attention. He finds a partner in John Paul Elliot who is serving with a pair of Scandinavian researchers studying the socio-cultural and linguistic characteristics of the San people. They travel to Windhoek, the capital. Amid a murder and rhino horn trafficking, David, Andreas, and Marie take you deep into the roots of humankind.

The story takes readers right into the heart of Namibia and the Kalahari Desert, and the San people who are historically the most ancient humans living there. The mission undertaken to discover more about the roots of humankind is thrilling and fascinating. The author adds romance, murder, and poaching into the plot that will keep readers pondering on what has gone wrong with humans. Will Father David Callaghan have his faith restored after finding out the reasons for what went wrong in the human saga? The author handles the plot with aplomb and keeps the pace and fluidity going without losing tempo. The weaving in of sub plots has been done effortlessly so that they fit into the main plot seamlessly. The main characters -- Father Callaghan, Andreas, and Marie -- have been well portrayed so that they are memorable to readers. The other characters in the story complement these three characters as they try to get into the soul and spirit of the San people, the Kalahari Desert, and humankind. The trees, rocks, animals, the desert, and the divinity of all living things come alive in this intriguing novel. A compelling story, and one that is definitely worth reading.

Divine Zape

Andre Costa’s Mukurob: How Far Would You Go For Your Life Purpose? is a thrilling blend of adventure and inspirational writing, a narrative with powerful anthropological underpinnings. Father David Callaghan is still grieved by the brutal murder of his childhood friend. When he stumbles on an article about the most ancient humans on Earth, the San people of the Kalahari Desert, he is moved both by curiosity as well as his need for answers, so he joins a team of experts and sets out to find answers. Follow this priest in an adventure involving murder and the quest to find out what went wrong with the human race.

Mukurob: How Far Would You Go For Your Life Purpose? explores human curiosity and the desire to remain true to one’s self. David is a character that readers will love, a man who isn’t content with his faith. His desire to understand human nature is so strong that he abandons everything and sets out on an unpredictable journey. The story is well researched on the aspects of the setting, the physical elements, and the cultures of different peoples. The author succeeds in creating a strong sense of curiosity in the reader as they follow the characters from one engaging page to the next. The spiritual and human aspects of the story are skillfully handled, and while the characters are dazzling and believable, it is the author’s gift for storytelling that had me turning from page to page. Andre Costa has an inimitable style with words and the ability to keep you focused on the strong narrative voice. I enjoyed this book… a lot!

Grant Leishman

In Mukurob: How Far Would You Go For Your Life Purpose? author Andre Costa takes us on a philosophical journey back to the roots of mankind – the cradle of humanity and the San people of the Kalahari in Namibia. When Father David Callaghan, a Catholic priest in a small Irish town, discovers his childhood friend has been brutally murdered by extremists, he begins to question how mankind has ended up in the mess they seem to be in. To try to discover where it all went so terribly wrong, David takes a sabbatical from the priesthood to travel to Namibia where he volunteers to help on an anthropological experiment with the people believed to be the oldest humans on earth – the San people. David wants to know how hunter/gatherers like the San somehow took humanity on its journey to where it finds itself today. Living in the middle of the Kalahari with an eclectic bunch of scientists, he finds many of his concepts about life and about faith challenged and he will be profoundly changed by his experiences.

It’s a while since I’ve read a novel that attempted to describe such a broad analysis of humanity and the philosophy of life in the context of a fictional story. Andre Costa does an excellent job of managing to embody such deep and enduring religious, philosophical and scientific arguments within what is essentially an adventure story. The character of David Callaghan is beautifully drawn, with his underlying angst about his profession, his faith, and the purpose of life. Yet, despite that, he had an enduring desire to find the answers, an innate kindness, a rare humanity, and a preparedness to do what is necessary to find the answers. I think David is a character that many of us can identify with, especially those of us who feel dissatisfied with the stories we have been told from our youth and our inability to find an alternative that has both meaning and logic.

Mukurob certainly achieves what its author probably set out to do – to make his readers think and to question what they may well have always seen as immutable truths. That he was able to do this and still entertain with an interesting adventure into the Kalahari Desert is a credit to his writing abilities. If you like a challenging read that makes you think and question your beliefs, while still providing a jolly good yarn, then this is definitely the book for you.