Last week, I read The Story of Keilah by Joann Keder. This novel was mysterious and somewhat dark. I did understand fairly early that it was being told from the point of view of a person who had been quite traumatized. That’s a hard thing to write, especially if the person has memory gaps or trouble staying fully present.
The tale of the friendship between Rosabel and Keilah was lovely in parts, but I was left with little understanding of how real Rosabel was. Her undeniable skill in baking, sewing and communication seemed magical, especially given the limited positive family experiences she’d had.
It also took awhile for me to like Keilah, as she was so caught up in her suffering, but when she started to put the pieces together and take responsibility for herself, I was ready! The story has some very interesting characters, and the author clearly understands that history never really goes away. Keilah has to learn that lesson, though, and also that sometimes the truth is not the best story to be telling.
A complex tale, told from a complex point of view, yes. I am glad that I read the book. Joann Keder doesn’t shy away from human complexity and I have a lot of respect for that.