There is a new girl arriving in Sycamore. Her hair is in two Afro buns with big white bows, and..

..she is wearing cat's- eye sunglasses like a celebrity. Thats according to Gaynah. I haven't seen her yet.


This is the opening lines of 'When life gives you Mangoes ' by Kereen Getten describing the arrival of the new girl in town and the beginning of an eventful summer for its residence.


Where to start, what a delightful and up lifting story about over coming your fears, family and community. This is a perfect coming of age tale for all audiences to enjoy and with the added mix of mystery surrounding some of the locals of Sycamore this story definitely stays with you after it ends.


The story revolves around 12 year old Clara who with a small handful of other kids her age spend their time playing games, exploring the village and enjoying the summer break at the beach. The only issue however is Clara developed an overwhelming fear of the water combined with losing her memory of the previous summer. This is an important plot point which runs through out the story and leads to a fantastic reveal at the end!


The residences of Sycamore seem aware of the events of last summer but nobody seems to be telling Clara the whole truth. This also includes her parents who realize that Clara's memory loss may have a a greater meaning behind it.




Kereen does a great job of explaining and exploring the friendship dynamics in the village too, as we get to meet the other kids that Clara associates with. One of them being Gaynah her best friend; Gaynah and Clara are typical best friends who argue. One of those particular arguments is Gaynah always teasing Clara about her memory loss.

However one particular fight stops the two friends from talking to each other and this acts as the catalyst in which the story starts unraveling.


I really loved reading 'When Life gives you mangoes', it had intrigue, friendship and I felt I could relate to what Clara was feeling at times. The frustration with being misunderstood, fighting with your parents, falling out with your friends and the loneliness that can bring.

The way we get drawn into this community I felt like I was part of the village, Kereen does not disappoint in keeping us captivated by the adventures the children take and the most important one, the journey Clara takes to find herself again.












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