The last few pages of this book gave me multiple goosebumps. Linda Sue Park takes us on a couple of walks, one to survival and the other figuratively to survival (to water).
The narrative alternates between two eleven year old’s: Nya and Salva. Nya is a little girl who makes two trips to a drying pond to fetch water for her family. Her only break includes drinking a little water when she reaches the pond and the other is between her two daily trips back home for a few minutes. Nya’s narrative is very innocent which is intertwined with Salva’s coming of age narrative which also starts at the age of eleven. Salva is at the center of the book with Nya lending short breathers in between. Salva’s story starts in 1985 when South Sudan is under attack which leads him to abandon everything and head for Ethiopia under the unwilling watch of random strangers also heading to the same place.
What Salva goes through during the course of this ‘walk’ is horrendous and almost unbelievable, and when I finished the book, I turned the last page to a note from the author saying that this is all based on a true story. (I really need to stop this habit of not reading summaries of books I pick up!) Everything I read had a much deeper impact on me after I found this out and this has to be one of the most powerful books I’ve ever read in a long time! (Closest to it is Sea Prayer by Khaled Hosseini)
At the end of it all, I had so much more appreciation for what we have been blessed with in our daily lives, something like water which we don’t even think about. We complain if the water we drink isn’t as cold as we want it to be not thinking twice there are people even today who would thank God for giving them even boiling hot water to drink. This book has the capacity to humble us and be thankful, and for that reason I recommend it to every single one of you. I think this should be required reading in schools and a book that should be reread every year.
A Long Walk to Water has a 4.24 rating on Good reads (30,000 reviews). If you’d like to order one, here’s my bookdepository affiliate link
Hope you guys enjoy it! Do let me know if its something you’d pick up? If there is any book you’d like to recommend, I’m all ears!