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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Neither Out Far Nor In Deep is a work of fiction in the interpersonal drama, cultural issues, and coming-of-age subgenres. It is intended for the young adult reading audience and was penned by author Leah T Williams. We find ourselves exploring the fascinating relationship between the Caribbean and American cultures in this invigorating novel, which focuses on seventeen-year-old protagonist Kadeem. After getting into increasing levels of trouble in school, Kadeem’s mother sends him to stay with her father on the island of St. Kitts, where the distractions of city living seem like a far-off fantasy. Here, Kadeem’s attitude to life begins to change as he starts to understand his mother’s heritage and how it relates to who he is, and who he can become.
These kinds of cross-cultural exploration books are essential reading for schools and youngsters everywhere in an ever more divided world, and I applaud author Leah T Williams for crafting such a sensitive and fascinating portrayal. I was highly impressed with Kadeem as a central character, whose personality is in flux, but realistically so for a young man coming of age, and I appreciated seeing first-hand the influences and experiences which shape him into his adulthood. I also found the descriptive quality gorgeous, highlighting so much of the atmosphere and stunning visuals that St. Kitts has to offer in a very cinematically described fashion. Overall, Neither Out Far Nor In Deep is a highly recommended read, filled with high-quality emotional drama, on-the-button sociocultural issues, and a central character you’re sure to adore.