Two months ago, I came across Mugabi Byenkya’s novel, Dear Philomena. It did not strike me to read it then. The book was unusual!
On first look, I thought the layout was so unique for a novel and I wondered the kind of description we could accord it in my literature class. I did not read the book.
Then I picked book again over the weekend. The cover image of the novel was so inviting. I turned to the blurb and that drew my attention. I now want everyone to know about this awesome book.
Dear Philomena is an interesting read; a write up of modern conversation traits strewn from the recent communication channels. The novel is written on a phone exchange using different phone aided communication tools mainly social media.
The most captivating attraction about Dear Philomena is the mental setting from where the conversations stem.
Mugabi, Philomena and Gabster are such a close knit circle of friends who can only be associated to a closed Facebook group. And for Philomena and Mugabi, theirs is not even a whatsapp chat group, it’s something a little more closed up, compare it to twitter’s direct message.
A book built not on chapters but the months of the fateful year 2015.
I was mainly intrigued by the outstanding reference of the personal pronoun “my”. Its consistence application reveals a lot on the protagonist’s struggles in dealing with the after effects of the various strokes.
Gabster’s role as an anonymous reliable voice to/of Mugabi plays such a critical detail in building hope for him(Mugabi) to carry on with life.
The ending of this book drives one to ask questions, no wonder the author found themselves asking questions as well.
“Depression is not an answer, It’s a question”
At the time we live when there is a lot of denial in the state of livelihood, this story comes in handy and calls for a conversation.
I am glad, Mugabi voices out his struggles on paper. This story is going to help many people; as a highlight of the effects of stroke and that depression lives among us.