One of my goals this year was to read a book a month. So far that hasn’t quite worked out how I wanted it to due to life’s ups and downs, however I wanted to share with you my latest read. When I saw that Sounds of Diamonds by Nichola K Johnson had been released, I was immediately drawn to it. The author Nichola kindly gifted me a copy for review and all I can say is that it’s definitely one that I’d highly recommend all to read.
Sounds of Diamonds is the story of Nikki Johnson and a journey of her quite complex life. We get to read about Nikki’s life in South London, England as a little girl until she reaches her 30’s. It’s a story of confusion, turmoil, anger, happiness and the complications of love. Nikki’s story is unfortunately something which many can probably relate to. As a young child her experience of abuse and being put through the care system, to the feeling of abandonment and trying to fit in – is all too familiar.
As I was reading the story of Nikki, I could really feel myself walking alongside her and experiencing everything she was experiencing. I was angry when she was, upset as she was, joyful and happy when the opportunity came for her to be and resilient when she showed it. Nichola K Johnson is a brilliant writer, whose ability to get the reader inside the mind of Nikki is quite amazing. I also found it equally amazing that at times as the reader, I was able to also step back from Nikki and identify when she was being stubborn (although most of the time her response to everything was quite justified!)
This book is one in which the difficulties of life are addressed. I love that we aren’t just given the difficulties of adulthood, but taken right back into Nikki’s childhood to see what she experienced back then. This also gave a clear indication of why she is so resilient as an adult. Her childhood experiences open your mind into thinking about parental relationships, the care system, racism, sex, drug addiction, education, abuse – I could go on. It really makes you think that although we’d love to believe that children have quite simple lives, the reality is that many children do not.
One aspect of Nikki’s story that really intrigued me was the relationship between her and her father. From their initial closeness to rebuilding that relationship – it was a beautiful and very real story to read about. It was great to read about the somewhat complicated relationship between a single black father and his mixed race daughter.
As explained by the author Nichola K Johnson, “We all have a story to tell, my start in life was far from ideal and, while there’s of course some creative license deployed in the novel, much of it is based off my own experiences. I want to show people that the fire burning within them can easily ignite to change their life for the better. It might not end up being perfect, but better days are always ahead.”
I believe that Nichola has achieved what she set out to do. This book definitely allowed me to reflect on my own experiences in life and it’s very true. No matter your start in life or even your journey, we should always look to better days to come.
I’d highly recommend that you put Sounds of Diamonds on your reading list. You certainly will not be disappointed. I’m looking forward to reading more from Nichola in the future!
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