Sunday, August 25, 2013

Review: Vuto by A.J. Walkley

Title: Vuto
Author: A.J. Walkley
Format: Ebook
Publisher: Rocket Science Productions
Publish Date: July 22, 2013
Source: I received a copy from the author; however, this did not affect my review.

Why You're Reading This Book:

  • You're a fiction fan.
  • You love armchair traveling.
What's the Story?:

From "Vuto is only 17 when her third child dies, mere days after birth.

Malawian tradition prevents men from considering a child their own until it has survived for two weeks. Frustrated at not being able to speak to her husband, Solomon, about all three of the children she’s had to bury alone, Vuto forces him to acknowledge the dead baby. Her rejection of tradition causes Solomon and the village elders to banish Vuto from the only home she’s ever known. She seeks refuge in the hut of U.S. Peace Corps volunteer Samantha Brennan, where Solomon discovers his wife has not left as she was told.

When Solomon arrives in the night to attack Vuto, Samantha disregards her oath to remain uninvolved in village politics and interjects herself into the center of the conflict, defending Vuto and killing Solomon in the process.

The women go on the run from Vuto’s village and the Peace Corps, encountering physical, ethical and cultural struggles along the way."

My Two Cents:

"Vuto" is a story about mostly focused on a Peace Corps Volunteer, Samantha, and a Malawi native, Vuto, who get in way over their heads when a crime is committed in the name of self-defense. Told from four points of views (Samantha's, Vuto's, Samantha's boyfriend, and another PCV), this book explores another culture and differences between different cultures.

There were a couple places where the book fell flat for me. First off, the narration. I think that having the narration come from various people can be risky. You really have to make sure that each voice was unique and different. I really had a hard time with the narration and had to keep flipping back and forth to figure out who was talking. Vuto's point of view was a little more different than the other three but Samantha's, Hunter's, and Ali's "voices" seemed very much the same.

Also, I really had a hard time understanding why Samantha made the decisions that she makes in the book after the crime takes place. She could have saved herself so much heartache if she would have just stopped and thought. I wanted to understand the motivation behind why she did what she did.

I was interested in this story because I have a deep interest in international affairs and news. I also love armchair traveling and I don't believe I've ever read a book about Malawi. I loved the descriptions of the country of Malawi. You can really see what the country looks like and what Vuto's village looks like. The book shines in the armchair traveling aspect!

Overall, Walkley is a promising author and I am excited for what the future brings!



  1. The premise sounds interesting, but I will probably give this one a pass. I tend to like stories told from alternate points of view, but I agree that if the voices aren't different enough, the book gets very confusing. Sorry this one fell flat for you!


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