A novella is longer than a short story and much shorter than a novel. It could be between 40K and 175K words. That is quite a range. The definition talks of a simpler plot, fewer problems for the protagonist to resolve, etc.
This is a fiction story for young adults. It is hard for me to clarify genres. There are over 47 listed when Googling “genre, books.” That is quite a few. I purchased the book after hearing author Johan Twiss speak at the Nebraska Authors Guild Conference in April, 2022. Johan impressed me with his presentation and wanted to experience his writing.
The story is about modern day slavery, a/k/a human trafficking. It is one of the most despicable things a powerful person can do to a less powerful one. The fact these are children entrusted to family members when parents die or are ill makes it even worse. An uncle sold his eight-year-old niece to a brothel owner. What a horrible man and deed.
These sorts of things happen all the time. The story took place in Cambodia. I could picture the girls very will thanks to Johan’s descriptive writing. With the language differences among the characters, and how integrity, honor, trust, and safety communicated by their actions was shown. Great writing by showing, not telling. And as if the evil antagonist isn’t enough, there is a flash flood threatening their very being. It’s non-stop action.
This is a story our teenagers could learn a lot from. We are so safe in our country most of the time. There is the ugly underworld of human trafficking in certain parts of our culture, too. Runaway kids often find this the only way they can buy food or shelter. By then, it is too late. They are indebted and their innocence lost. Drug and alcohol abuse is common.
I am so grateful my brothers and I had parents who did their best to take care of us and keep us as safe as they could. All families have troubles, all families have some defect. We have our issues, but nothing like these poor children experienced. It is a real eye-opener for sure.
On another topic:
When we think we have removed prejudices from our lives, sometimes we are unaware we have merely rearranged our prejudices. What? Prejudices in our lives are very difficult to overcome. I’m talking about our prejudice against ourselves. As adults, sometimes we still believe all the untruths we were told about ourselves as children. If you were constantly told you would never amount to anything, you could be a CEO of a Fortune 500 company. If you are achieving and still have a doubt about the old messages you had about yourselves, your achievements will pale compared to what they actually are. Your mind and spirit need healing.
Only through healing will you discover you may not really know the limits of your skills and abilities. Your prejudices against yourself may be based on ignorance and a lack of genuine reflection. Can you analyze your abilities and skills objectively? If you believe you’re much less than you are based on what you’ve been told either by others (whether family, friends, co-workers or whomever), you need to ask better questions. Who said? What is the foundation of that idea? Is it true? If your answers are your cousin, because you’re a girl (you can’t do whatever), and it’s false, you have proved them wrong right there. See?
If someone says you can’t be a writer, you’ve never done this before, and you published a best-selling book, and earned a million bucks, they are wrong. We can prove lies and prejudices as wrong. Get busy! You can do this. Become a thinker, not just a believer in what they have also said about you. Don’t believe it any longer. We are not who our prejudices say we are.
Let’s experience the freedom of deciding what we want to believe about ourselves. Make your own conclusions about yourself and your abilities. It’s a new found freedom which will propel us forward and into the lives we deserve. You won’t be sorry you examined your ideas. Your future self will thank you for it. Thanks for reading today. Let’s see each other tomorrow.