You will read it with anticipation, smiles, feelings of approval for acts of virtue and disapproval for acts of vice. It does not leave the reader impassive, but engages completely.
It is a fast-paced story, and when the last page is turned and the last paragraph read, you will flip anxiously through the end pages for more.
That is a guarantee!
With a poignant title, “In the Middle of Nowhere”, the author, Ruby Yayra Goka, weaves a narrative on desperation, ostracisation, forgiveness, redemption, hope and love.
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Her novel is a captivating love story told beautifully.
Ace story teller
As a markswoman writer, she adeptly offers truths about her faith, Christianity, by inter-weaving these facts seamlessly with the story.
In that manner, readers comfortably enjoy a beautiful story, while not missing out on truths about life, love and salvation.
Another style that sets Ruby Yayra Goka apart as a rising ace story teller and writer is how she weaves events of the past with the present in a flawless manner, enabling readers to have a fuller picture of the story being shared.
The story is set in the Upper East Region of Ghana, in Sandema... an arid land with just one season of rain in a year, from April to October.
In the dry season, it is desolate, with most people migrating to find greener pastures elsewhere.
Unlike most however, Elaine the chief character heads for this wilderness and decides to seek refuge there.
Saddled with her toddler, she begins the journey to a land considered as Siberia for most of her colleagues and friends, in a bid to erase the bitter memories of the past fuelled by those closest to her.
These memories include rejection and betrayal by her mother, violation of her womanhood by someone she called her uncle, rejection by her boyfriend and betrayal by her friend who decides to seize the opportunity of her unfortunate circumstance to hook up with her boyfriend.
As she sets off to erase the past and start anew, little does she know that she is traveling with the man she will fall in love with and find not only peace, but hope, forgiveness and the love that has always eluded her.
There in Sandema, where no one would have thought salvation could come from, she finds the true meaning of life, service, friendship and love.
The historian in Ruby Yayra Goka is not buried in the narration.
She skilfully deploys her senses as a historian by diligently researching on the Bawku conflict and spicing up the love tale with some lessons on the genesis of it.
The history in the book is not the dull type read in history books, the love story makes it interesting.
It is also refreshing as readers learn for instance that present Bawku, extended as far as the Upper Volta, now Burkina Faso, was under Naa Gbewaa in the 14th century.
Ruby Yayra Goka also uses her work to teach, developing her story around characters in the medical profession whose activities become the vehicle by which the author, who is herself a dentist, sensitises readers on oral hygiene and other organs of the body such as the liver.
Her style is easy, fun and fast.
The light side of the author irresistibly comes through when the dentist's assistance is sought for a mother's heartache, which is that her son eats slowly.
She uses simple language, sometimes employing colloquial everyday terms, and that embraces all generations of readers.
For those who want an excellent novel to relax with, "In the Middle of Nowhere," makes the cut.
For avid readers, this novel must be read for the refreshing story it conveys.
Kwadwoan Publishing has again excelled in adding to its list of publications "In the Middle of Nowhere."
The book is available in all leading bookshops in the country.
Author: Ruby Yayra Goka
Publishers: Kwadwoan Publishing
Reviewed by Caroline Boateng