Sirens Tales Of Youth And Love , is a collection of ten unique short stories based in Zimbabwe featuring great characters, each on unique journeys.
From the very first page, Leroy Mthulisi Ndlovu showed just how great a story teller he is. His writing drew me in on an emotional level. I thoroughly enjoyed his book and found myself, mourning the fact that there weren’t more stories and I had reached the end!
The one part of Ndlovu’s writing I found myself conflicted by was the use of vernacular languages with no translations. Those few parts were important aspects of the story and for readers who do not understand our vernacular languages, it could be a little difficult to keep track. However on the other hand, those sections were part of what made the stories just that much better, they gave the stories that extra something unique to Zimbabwe, especially Bulawayo.
If you have read my past book reviews, you probably know by now that relatability is something I value when I dive into the pages of a book, and that is exactly what Ndlovu gave me. From larger details like the situations the main characters found themselves in, situations that the average Zimbabwean is all too familiar with, to smaller details like the names of well-known streets and bars, Ndlovu weaved a familiar background for his stories making them all the more alluring.
The characters were well developed, their emotions and thoughts described perfectly. From this one book, Ndlovu has shown his ability to make his very understandable within less than ten pages. I was hooked from the very beginning as I took a journey around Bulawayo, looking at places I have known all my life through the eyes of his characters. The next time I pass by some streets in the CBD, I will remember that they were part of his characters’ journeys because that’s just how memorable his stories were.
Ndlovu dove into some of the issues plaguing our society. Issues such as rape, alcoholism, abuse and our bystander effect when it comes to the issue and so much more. When I read his stories, I did not only get entertained, they made me introspect and look into myself, and that is something few authors are able to achieve in their story telling. I commend Ndlovu for tackling difficult topics in his book.
I know what’s coming. I want it to be different this time. I want to stand up and grab Mama’s nduku inside the cooler box I’m sitting on. I want to stand up and tell him to leave her alone.
Leroy Mthulisi Ndlovu, Sirens
I give Sirens five stars. I loved the story-telling and the journey I went on alongside the characters. This is a book I highly recommend everyone to read. It is a reading experience I guarantee you would not want to miss. This is Ndlovu’s debut book and one thing I can say is, he can only go up from here. I am looking forward to more beautiful story telling from this author.
For those of you in the City Of Kings the book is available at The Orange Elephant. At River Estate along 3rd Street in Suburbs (Next to B.A.C). You can also buy it directly from Leroy and soon it’ll be in other stores around the city and the country soon. We’ve also made sure you can get it on Amazon. The hard copy is US$10 and the ebook is US$5.