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Formats
Ebook Details
  • 05/2021
  • 211 pages
  • $4.99
Paperback Details
  • 05/2021
  • 978-1-7350417-2-8
  • 211 pages
  • $12.99
Ndirangu Githaiga
Author
Ten Thousand Rocks
Will’s abrupt decision to leave his medical practice in Atlanta and take up a new job in Virginia Beach catches Laura by surprise. But moving back to their hometown was always going to be complicated since Will never told his family about their eight-year marriage. Still fresh in their minds is the stinging memory of Laura’s disastrous first meeting with his parents, particularly his mother—for whom a white daughter-in-law is an anathema. As Will settles into the tedious routine of his new job, the simmering estrangement between him and Laura gradually deepens, until the day comes when he is involved in a near-fatal car accident. Laura is left reeling in the aftermath and forced to come face to face with her in-laws at the hospital, when complex medical decisions need to be made in the absence of clear-cut answers, and where strong opinions and poorly disguised animosities seem to have the upper hand. Weeks later, Will emerges from a coma, and upon discovering he is quadriplegic becomes uncharacteristically vicious towards Laura, sending their relationship into dark, unfamiliar territory. Amidst this rising turmoil, the ocean remains a source of serenity, with the rhythmic breaking of waves and joyous cries of seagulls serving as an abiding reminder that life is worth living even when we go astray and need help finding our way back home.
Reviews
Githaiga’s (The People of Ostrich Mountain) honest, unflinching portrayal of a struggling marriage mixes drama with deliberation. Tired of working long hours as a doctor, William Young accepts a job as a medical director at an insurance company. His wife Laura is dismayed by his sudden decision and his failure to discuss it with her beforehand. Will soon discovers the ugly truth of his new position: the more medical procedures he denies coverage for, the more money he makes. He finds himself trying to maximize his earnings, but just as he is starting to upgrade his lifestyle to match, a twist of fate upends the couple’s lives.

Githaiga sketches the many challenges in the Youngs’ relationship—lack of communication, differing priorities, family tension over their interracial relationship—with both realism and sensitivity. While the couple’s marriage is the story’s primary focus, Githaiga also incorporates a large cast of diverse, carefully drawn secondary characters. These differing perspectives add variety, but they also pull the story away from Will, and some readers will be frustrated by the lack of insight into his reactions to the story’s major events. However, Laura’s perspective is consistent and revealing throughout, a sympathetic presence that readers will feel for her as she struggles to cope.

The plot offers dramatic twists and legitimate surprises. Some of these events link together in unexpected ways, forming an intriguing web of cause-and-effect, both logistical and emotional. The intersections Githaiga finds in these characters’ lives strike a unique balance between kismet and karma. As Will and Laura navigate the shifts in their fortunes, Githaiga reveals deeper insight into who they are and what they value about their lives and their relationship. A moving testament to the importance of our connections to each other, Ten Thousand Rocks illuminates how adversity can spur resilience in life and in love.

Takeaway: This understated portrait of a marriage will satisfy readers who prefer grounded romance that doesn’t shy away from hardship.

Great for fans of: Jojo Moyes’s Me Before You, Celeste Ng’s Everything I Never Told You, Tayari Jones’ An American Marriage.

Production grades
Cover: A-
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A

Formats
Ebook Details
  • 05/2021
  • 211 pages
  • $4.99
Paperback Details
  • 05/2021
  • 978-1-7350417-2-8
  • 211 pages
  • $12.99

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