What to Say?

I take my mother to the doctor, the dentist, the eye specialist. She says the same thing to everyone she meets. “I have to tell you my daughter’s good news! She is going to get her book published!” And the people are polite and comment or ask a question.

What is your book about?

Oh, about when my husband and I lived in Africa … for six years.

Wow! You lived in Africa!?


Did you like it?

And there it is. That question. How do I answer in a sentence what it has taken me a whole book and fourteen years to write?

I am supposed to say YES, I loved it. But I didn’t. And I did. And it’s complicated. And it was six years of my life.

And I am not being completely self-serving when I simply want to answer, “Read the book.”

PHOTO: Picture of screen print I own by an unknown Kenyan artist

Jill Kandel
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