I Touched the Moon

A Tale of Abduction and Redemption

Fiction - Realistic
274 Pages
Reviewed on 01/29/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite

“You can’t bury your pain successfully although you might convince yourself that you have. There will always be a reckoning.” That bit of wisdom was shared with Asha, the young adult protagonist of I Touched the Moon: A Tale of Abduction and Redemption by Sila Long, and encapsulates the theme of this engrossing novel. It’s a message that all victims of child sexual abuse need to hear, but it’s one of the most difficult realities to face. If there is one positive that resulted from the #MeToo movement, it’s that more victims found their voices and spoke up, as Asha finally does in this story. But while speaking out fosters awareness, is it enough? If like Asha you live in a country like Nigeria where the trafficking of young children is rampant, the answer is “no”. That’s why important books like this must be written and read. In an excellent blend of fact and fiction, Long tells us the story of the fictional Asha who was abducted into sexual slavery after a night of door-to-door shooting, hacking, and raping in her village of Zamfara – an actual event in 2011. After 5 years of suffering, Asha manages to escape and bit by bit, thanks to her natural intelligence and some good luck, turned her misfortune into fortune.

Though at times Asha’s story of surviving and ultimately thriving seems Cinderella-like, it’s no fairytale. But you can’t come away from the novel without thinking about how one can find the strength to turn adversity into opportunity. As Asha learns, it begins by accepting that what happened isn’t your fault and by talking about it with those who love and care for you. It culminates in learning to love yourself enough to say, “I can do this!” Sila Long’s unique fact/fiction novel offers hope to victims of abuse. Asha’s story is excellently delivered through an ever-evolving plot, generously paced through lots of dialogue, and peppered with a large cast of interesting, realistic characters. Of these, the most intriguing and puzzling is Miobe Timbe. It will take till the end of the story to decide whether he is good or bad, or simply another human being like Asha, needing redemption. Whether you’re a victim of abuse or someone who is appalled by trafficking, don’t think twice about selecting I Touched the Moon as your next read. You won’t regret it or forget it.

Keith Mbuya

Asha Vilakazi had witnessed her village and family being shot, hacked, slaughtered, and raped during a deadly raid by a gang of armed robbers and human traffickers in her small village of Zamrafa, North Western Nigeria. With other surviving girls from her village, the gang had abducted her and had used them in every way for sexual pleasure. Before she knows it, she finds herself trapped in the hands of Herbert Manbusi –a poor resident of Surulere town who is completely smitten by Asha’s beauty. Just when she thinks nothing could go wrong, Herbert gets arrested on criminal charges. At this point, she is taken in by a powerful government official, Miobe Timbe, whose intentions seem too good to be true. What could Miobe be up to? Is Herbert yet done with Asha? Get yourself Sila Long’s I Touched the Moon to know more.

Sila Long’s I Touched the Moon is just what you should be looking for if you love realistic novels laced with an unraveling tale of agony, survival, deception, betrayal, love, hope, redemption, and so much more. Sila hatches an intriguing plot, featuring enthralling plot twists, bringing the scenes to life with impressively vivid depictions. Her unique way of demonstrating the disparity in the lifestyles and traits of the cast added authenticity to the story. It gave me a raw feel of the lives of the people in rural and urban Nigeria. Sila allowed me to experience the cast’s emotions. Some of the scenes were heartwarming. Some were heart-wrenching and almost brought me to tears. Behind Asha’s beautiful face is an intelligent, brave, strong-willed, pure-hearted woman damaged with unbelievable pain. There is adventure, suspense, and much more.

K.C. Finn

I Touched the Moon: A Tale of Abduction and Redemption is a work of fiction in the realistic drama and social issues subgenres. It is best suited to the general adult reading audience owing to themes of violence, trafficking, abuse, and murder. Penned by Sila Long, this incredible work closely follows the atrocities that occurred in a small Nigerian village in 2011, which are representative of actual happenings all over Africa today. When a violent gang attacked the village, murdering nineteen people and affecting many more through their destruction, one young woman’s journey to healing and growth must begin.

Sila Long has penned a captivating work, one which sheds much-needed light on the darker side of modern life that we sometimes prefer to pretend doesn’t exist anymore. Human trafficking is never an easy topic to take on, but Long presents all the brutality of this senselessly violent trade against the pure, raw humanity of those whom it affects. The narration is sharp and poignant, leaving plenty of space for the central character to talk about her experiences and become a fully realized person for whom we feel so deeply. This makes the consequences and fallout from the village attack so pertinent, leaving a violent imprint that casts a shadow across the whole novel and far beyond it to affect how we as readers see the world now. I would not hesitate to recommend I Touched the Moon to readers seeking deeply feeling and realistically penned work that explores current global issues in all the necessarily harrowing details.