The Dragonfly Sea – Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor.

This book. I read it wondering how can author be so damn detailed and thorough. But now, mourning my finishing it, I realise it is not the details of the smells, places and people that caught my attention, it is how she has managed to describe my soul’s journey. Even though I was reading someone else’s journey, her soul, featured mine.

And I am left with memories of characters who have made me pause and cry, who countless times have made me reflect on my life, and who with every new chapter, and there are over a hundred chapters, have reminded me bits of myself.

It has reminded me of home. The smells. The seasons. The people. The way heat there hits differently, yet i’ve never gotten sunburns at home. It has reminded me of people I refused to mourn. Like my mother’s best friend who moved towns and every single holiday, I missed her. I missed how genuine her ‘how is high school?’ was.

It has taken me through Ayaana’s soul. Muhidin’s life. Nioreg’s broken soul. China’s evasion into every part of our continent.

And through the connectedness of various things, such as a small island in Kenya’s coast-Pate, with a big country like China, and big issues like terrorism, to Kenya’s neglect of its people, to illegal trade in wild animals- this book has reflected our lives. How we live our small lives each day, yet are part of a bigger system whose cogs never once stop.

And the smells. Damn! The smells. This book has made me wonder about the spray I use. Do I even know which scent it is?

I’ll forever look at roses differently. For a people somewhere, make their own fragrances, out of herbs they grow.

My soul, has had an encounter. Brought through Ayaana in The Dragonfly Sea, by Yvonne Owuor Adhiambo. And I don’t know how people can extract themselves from this one, to write a sober review about it.


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