Genre: Fantasy / Cultural Released: April 2018 Reviewed by: Jane Stockwell When I first started to read “Madilla: the Spirit of U’Katang”, I wasn’t really sure if I was reading a historical novel, a cultural commentary or a fantasy story. In the end, it turned out to be the latter with elements of cultural commentary on […]
I wish I had a dollar for every time I was asked the question, What is India Like? My wife and I recently returned from a four week trip around a fair chunk of the country.
First answer, Religious. No great surprise there. Every religion known to man is in one big melting pot, having either begun there or somewhere nearby. For me, it represents the world’s entire population beautifully in that with over a billion different versions of what life is all about; most likely none of them being the one truth; everyone still likes to believe they are on the right track toward finding it.
Resistant. Not just resistant to change, which it is, but resistant to conflict under enormous pressure. As a modern westerner, I would like to think our part in world history will be marked as a positive turning point in human equality, but I think India and other ancient cultures kicked it off, well before we were even discovered and developed. They just morphed a little differently.
Madilla is a novel I self published and is now available through most major online retailers, or through my website in Australia. I am publishing chapter 1 as a teaser. I hope it as enjoyable to read as it was to write.
“Mirror Soul” (You are the mirror of my soul)
“Do not look at the sparrows, Madilla,” Mama scolded. “Shaloma is teaching you now.” Mama was always very serious about the stories of our people. The same stories had been told by Kirra women since our ancestors came to the mountains, and Mama said they were very important; but I was more interested in other things.
“Yes, Mama.” I turned back to face Old Shaloma, hoping she would finish soon.
“And Kala’unga was carrying her firs’ child,” she said. I looked at my best friend Tanya. She was watching the sparrows too, but her own Mama was not there to scold her.
“Madilla!” Mama caught me looking at Tanya.
“Yes, Mama.” I turned back again as Old Shaloma continued.
A Blind Fish in the Shadows
“Are there people at the jetty today, Mum?”
“There’s a few down there, luv. I think I can see Sarah Halliday. She must be with her Dad.”
“Her Dad’s always at the jetty, isn’t he?”
I knew if Mum cut our conversation short like that, there was more to the story, but she wasn’t going to tell me.
“Can people change their nickname? You know. If they don’t like it.”
“I don’t know, dear. You would probably have to move to a different town. Once something like that has stuck, it can be very hard to change.”
“Okay. I’ll have to think about it then.”