Vernon RL Head has done it again.
In his well written third novel, A Tree For The Birds, Head has accelerated his passion for nature writing to the next level.
In this informative read, the author narrates a story of a young Congolose boy named Chrisnelt Malotika, who suffered a major setback in his early years.
Chrisnelt lost his best friend Noh in a tragic way which left him mentally scarred.
Noticing that his son might have lost his marbles, Mr Malotika introduces the boy to books.
Books became therapeutic for Chrisnelt, because books were able to give him new perspective on life and helped ‘oil his brains’ in his effort to find a way to honour his deceased friend Noh.
Tragedy does not end there, his father also loses his life after introducing his son to the wondrous life of books.
Chrisnelt then decides to plant a tree in memory of the two departed souls.
A tree that will shelter birds, which his friend Noh liked so much, but most importantly a tree that will give him answers for his loss and hope for the future.
Not to give away too much, the young Malotika in his quest to honour his friend and father faces lot of challenges.
Firstly his sisters are forever on his case, then he has to deal with naughty foreign neighbours, to top it off, handle a crook, a selfish man called Pastor Kadazi.
This is an excellent read and Head in this book continues to showcase his ability to describe each and every scene with naturalistic description.
In this novel, Head challenges the reader to pay attention to messages that birds communicate to humans.
The scribe also reminds humans that they should start learning from nature and understand the different cycles of water and plants in Africa, as Chrisnelt did.
Human beings in yesteryears had a special communicative bond with trees and birds, however, nowadays human beings seem to have disconnected themselves from nature.
Head wants us to reconnect and rebuild our relationship with mother nature but most importantly learn from it.
The only negative I picked up from the book that might be a challenge, especially for readers who enjoy quick reads, is that the chapters are bit long, which can make the reader lose their train of thought.
Besides that, Head maintained his style of writing from his previous novels and with that I award this book a star rating of 9/10.
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