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Malaika Paperback – October 20, 2010


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Malaika + Facing the Lion: Growing Up Maasai on the African Savanna
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 94 pages
  • Publisher: Outskirts Press (October 20, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1432763660
  • ISBN-13: 978-1432763664
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (162 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,674,153 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Soulful yet primal, mystical and hauntingly moving - Malaika is a wonderfully memorable novel which is impossible to put down. From the sweeping vistas of Africa to the richly developed characters, this work will surprise and delight. Its message is compelling, inspirational and timely..." 
~Blogger Pondhopper

From the Author

THANK YOU readers! With well over 53,000 copies of MALAIKA downloaded, I am grateful. 

More About the Author

I would rather live seeking my own dream and fail everyday, than to live one day pursuing someone else's dream, for which I carry no faith. ~VH~

Customer Reviews

Beautiful story and very well written.
Marilyn Howat
I had read that the story has made some people cry, but I am a man so crying is not for me so why then was I sobbing like a baby towards the end of this story.
tom elder
It is a heartwarming and heartbreaking story about love, loss, respect, life, death, redemption, and forgiveness.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

62 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Cheryl Keast on May 1, 2011
Format: Paperback
This novella is deceptively simple in its voice, but "Malaika" captures all the subtlety of man's need for honesty and truth in an unconditional friendship. This is more than a friendship between a man and a lioness. Their bond transcends reality into the world of dreams where communication is possible when language and prejudice prevent the simple joys of just being in this world. Thoreau's idea of "simplify, simplify, simplify!" works for the crazy American who has jetisoned his family and creature comforts and needs a catalyst (excuse the pun) in order to see that he is running away from his life rather than facing it. Emerson and Thoreau, as well as Thomas's friends in the village at the edge of the Serengeti, see what Malaika sees--that the ways of the world are cruel, troubling, and complicated. The lioness becomes a mother symbol of strength and hope for mankind even though it takes man time to see beyond his own selfish tendencies. This is a lovely book in which the simplicity of the text allows the reader to see the complexity of the human condition.
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42 of 42 people found the following review helpful By dpp on December 7, 2010
Format: Paperback
For several days, I found myself completely absorbed in this novella. In fact, I actually read it twice.

Man's relationships take center stage in this story about love and the many expected and unexpected ways that it manifests itself in our lives...`Malaika' is a hartwarming, multi-faceted tale. On the surface it is a simple `read', beneath the surface It is the story of finding meaning in life when life seems to have pulled you into a shadow.

I was greatly impressed by Van Heerling's use of language and the flow of his sentences. The narrative is vivid and the dialogue is strong. The delightfully descriptive language gives one a sense of place and successfully conveys a great deal with a clear economy of words.

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in a cozy read about an exotic place. A story filled with stories.
I anxiously await the next work to fall off of the pen of this very talented new author.
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45 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Book Chick on January 17, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm afraid I will not be able to do this amazing novella justice in my review. To put it short, MALAIKA was quite simply beautiful and haunting. It is a powerful story woven by the author in masterful prose--one that is thought provoking and speaks of the power of forgiveness. This is by far the best piece of literature, under full novel length, I have EVER read, and I cannot wait to read this author's next work.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Steve McAlister on May 18, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Although I suspected the ending all along, I was both spellbound and deeply moved by the story - sometimes a writer does such a good job that you find it a little difficult to remember that this IS a work of fiction. The story is brilliantly told - I recommend it to anyone who might need a lift from life's difficulties.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Heidi Johnson on March 26, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Though generally reluctant to write reviews for even those books I have found most enjoyable, I feel compelled, following the reading of MALAIKA, to ask potential (future) readers not to let this treasure of a novella slip you by...it is a gift to relish and savor...a keeper to the nth degree. The story is lyrical and fluid in the telling, and subtly powerful and profound in effect. From the first page I was captivated by the authenticity and poignancy of the first person narrative; in the pages that followed, the precious and all too human relationships, the dash of humor, the realism of emotion, and the elemental magic. This is a tale that has presence, almost a palpable presence, all too rarely found in today's fiction. I won't even hint at the book's plot; the synopsis that you have at hand should suffice. I will confess, though, that so great is the number of books I have in my "to read" pile, that some time had passed since the book's purchase when I began my reading and so I approached the story without a clue as to what it was about (something I do upon occasion). I was utterly fascinated and deeply moved, and finished it within a sitting. On my second reading of MALAIKA (yes, it is that extraordinary a story), I was fully informed and completely expectant and no less enthralled. With both readings did I find the novella an absolute jewel. I imagine you will too.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Schuyler T Wallace VINE VOICE on October 31, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Van Heering's wonderful little novella, MALAIKA, might become your favorite feel-good read about animal and human interaction. He claims that it is total fiction. If that's true then Heering has exceptional ability for finding the soul of realism. I finished it at one sitting and then read it again to simply enjoy the writer's insight and use of language.

A man, overwhelmed by his personal travails, sits on the edge of the Serengeti enjoying an African smoke and a cup of fragrant coffee. He tells the reader up front that he isn't going to share anything about his personal situation. He's true to his word. You learn very little about how or why he got here. He lets you know that he has "another lifetime dappled with hurt and a lost love elsewhere in the world -- I won't bore you with the details." Okay, I'm sorry to hear that but have enough travails of my own. I am eager to get on with the story about lions. I like lions.

As he's enjoying his surroundings, along comes a lioness, big and beautiful and terrifying, capable of taking his life with one snap of her massive teeth. The man is not a brave person and, in fact, empties his bladder during the encounter (as I probably would). The lion samples the smoke and a little spill of coffee, and, although still a threatening creature, seems to feel at ease with the man's presence before she ambles away.

The visits become more frequent and welcome. Over time, the relationship evolves into one of companionship and affection on the part of both animal and man. Malaika (as she is named by the man) occasionally spends the night alongside his bunk, much the same as a house cat, with his dangling hand entangled in her soft coat.
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