Reviewed by Barbara Harper for Readers' Favorite
Ten Thousand Rocks by Ndirangu Githaiga introduces us to a married couple who had first met when they were in middle school. William Henry Young is a medical doctor and black, and his white wife Laura is a teacher. William, known as Will, has a younger brother, wealthy parents, and his father is a judge. Laura is an only child, raised by her mother in a working-class neighborhood on the other side of town. Will selfishly makes all the important decisions without consulting his wife. Laura feels isolated and spends a great deal of her marriage fuming and frustrated. Will, on the other hand, is filled with discontent. His unrealistic sense of superiority leads him to make decisions without considering the consequences between right and wrong, good and bad. William will soon come face to face with the karmic consequences of his self-centered motives. His actions, fueled by his narcissistic tendencies, will take him on a journey that will lead him to ‘reap what he has sowed.’ Just when perfection is within his grasp, the most life-altering phase of his life is about to start.
When I started reading Ten Thousand Rocks by Ndirangu Githaiga, I could not stop as the story revealed so many truths about life, especially the notion that the decisions you make from altruistic motives versus the decisions you make from selfish motives have an impact on your quality of life. The author uses contrasts throughout the story to navigate us through the lives of this husband and wife. Perhaps I should not be too harsh in my condemnation of some of the decisions made by Will, as these were due to boredom and laziness. Will’s words and actions indicate that he takes his marriage to Laura for granted and his general dissatisfaction with his life includes her. I liked the fact that from the beginning the author introduces the theme of black and white, right and wrong, and good versus bad. I can relate to some decisions made by Will from selfish motives and the painful consequences that ensue. In my opinion, Will’s general dissatisfaction with everything in his life, including his marriage to Laura, indicates that everything has been too easy and that nothing in his life has challenged him enough to fill him with gratitude - until a dramatic and traumatic turn of events changes the trajectory of his entire existence. No journey ends without the possibility of redemption, and hopefully, in the end, love does conquer all. Readers who enjoy dramatic stories will thoroughly enjoy this book.