Writing a novel is a labor of love that takes an enormous amount of effort and it is always an honor for an author to reach out to you to review a book that they have written. I received a free copy of The Dream from Dust directly from the author and I would like to thank Lukonge for actively reaching out to me in Twitter. Thank you for your generosity. Though I have received a free copy, please note that this is an honest and voluntary review.
The Dream from Dust is a memoir of Lukonge Achilees who was born and raised in poverty. It is a very personal account in which he shares the challenges he encountered while growing up. He shares how his parents experienced the atrocities of war and how these civil wars within his country shaped his life. He recounts how extreme poverty affected his childhood and how their financial situation made his dream of studying in university almost impossible. However, despite all odds, the author was able to graduate and land a job as a social worker in the Pelletier Teenage Mother’s Foundation where he was able to create a lasting impact to the organization through the trainings that he designed. The memoir also gives you a glimpse of Lukonge’s personal life, such as his relationship with his family, friends and how these bonds have shaped him to be the person that he is today.
When I was reading the book, I could tell the amount of effort that the author has placed into writing the story. It is a very personal account of his life that even included his most intimate moments which is an act that requires a lot of bravery. I particularly like that he shared his struggles with his studies. He was just an average student, that it seemed his dream of pursuing further studies in a university was almost impossible. He also candidly revealed how his struggles didn’t end when he was finally accepted into a university. Reading about the obstacles that he experienced while he was still studying, provides an insight into the many challenges that students from a less fortunate background would face. I also appreciate that he admitted how these challenges almost led him to give up on his dreams because it shows that striving for a better life isn’t an easy road, especially for someone living in poverty.
Another aspect that makes the book unique is that it isn’t just a memoir, it also has a collection of motivational and inspirational advice that is grounded in religion. Most memoirs generally just focus on the author’s life and it is up to the reader to discover the hidden gems on what motivated the author to transform into the person that they are. However, in The Dream from Dust, these lessons are listed out for the reader.
The author’s background in history and the amount of research placed in writing the story is also evident. Lukonge Achilees provides a rich historical account of the civil wars in the country. It is incredibly helpful because it allows the reader to understand how these events shaped his life especially if they are not familliar with the country’s history.
After reading The Dream from Dust, the effort that the author has placed to share his story with the world is clear. However, I noticed that there were grammatical errors throughout the book and it made reading the book very challenging for me because these errors made it difficult for me to grasp what the author was trying to convey. As the book is still set to be published, I would suggest that the author seek out an editor to help to address these issues.
Secondly, I noticed that the author placed recommendations on blogs and websites for his readers as the story progresses. To me, I thought that these sudden recommendations disrupted the flow. I also felt that it made the novel feel like a blog. As a suggestion, I would advice for the recommendations to be listed at the end of the book because I think that placing these at the end of the novel will not distract the reader from the story itself.
Thirdly, I found it inappropriate that the sex scene was written in detail. The book is a memoir and I didn’t think it was necessary to fully describe the act because graphic sex scenes are generally reserved for adult romance books. There was a warning before the sex scene occured and I found this odd because even though you can sometimes encounter this in fanfiction, novels generally do not have these kind of warnings.
Overall, The Dream from Dust is a moving memoir of an individual who overcame the hardships of life and it is always touching to read about a person breaking free from the cycle of poverty. Though this book isn’t for me, it may be helpful for those who are experiencing similar circumstances as the memoir can motivate them to overcome their ordeals. This story is a reminder that your current situation does not define you. No matter how difficult life may be, you can still change your life for the better because dreams can be built from dust and transformed into reality.