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Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite
In The Melancholy History Of Mayfly by Mutch Katsonga, a man sits alone and afraid in the squalor of his prison cell, reflecting on his life in his final few hours. A priest convinces him to write his thoughts and feelings down on paper to heal his soul before he bids farewell to the world. As he begins the painful journey into his memory, he retraces the events that led him to his fate. Raised by his mother in a town filled with superstition, his unique 'gift' becomes a curse that separates him from his peers and the world around him. The taunts and rejection of the townspeople result in a reclusive life with only vivid nightmares for company. He enjoys his ‘secret wanderings’ away from the eyes of others, where he meets his kindred spirit, Gemini. This brutally honest account of a man contemplating his life as he faces death will touch your heart.
The author is an absolute master of taking you on the journey with the tortured soul of the protagonist. This is much more than a supernatural story but more one of human relationships and the power that self-doubt can have on your perception of reality. There are such heartwarming passages throughout the story, and his relationship with Gemini was a true love story. I felt immersed in this tragic story from the first page and warmed to the main character considerably. There are many intense moments in the story, the feelings of remorse a person has when they look back on their life and the regrets they may have.
This quotation resounded so strongly for me: ‘When a person can learn to conquer their fears, their anger, their insecurities, their prejudices…only then can they testify to having a real strength. Only when a person learns to conquer their heart, can they achieve any measure of greatness.’ This summed up the message behind this tragic tale. The twist at the end was a superb example of great storytelling; all the loose ends and unanswered questions in the plot were resolved. The ending was simple but profound. I would highly recommend this book to anyone that appreciates the art of excellent descriptive writing, a unique story line and a book that makes you reflect on your own life.