Jonathan R. Miller
Dec 1 2012
Struck blind while defending his daughter from abductors during a visit overseas, Ambojeem makes the decision to settle permanently in the relative calm of Minnesota. As a biracial Somali man, he has spent decades adrift, running from Western nation to Western nation in search of some semblance of belonging. And in the Twin Cities he thinks he has found a proper home.
Aided by retinal implants that provide a synthetic vision, Ambo scrapes out a living as a delivery driver, transporting an array of items both legal and otherwise. During one seemingly simple assignment, he makes a devastating discovery that sends him spiralling down a twisted path that changes his life immeasurably, plunging him into a dark world where black market surgeries, kidnappings, and murder are the norm. On the way, he meets a little girl whose father has made plans for one of her vital organs, and Ambo must find a way to help the child while ensuring that he doesn’t fall victim to the father’s crazed ambitions himself.
Dealing with issues as diverse as immigration, autonomy, ethnic identity, female circumcision, the consequences of vengeance, and more, Delivery is a thought-provoking, moving, and thrilling journey from beginning to end.
After reading a lot of YA recently, every now and then mixing it up with some romance, this was definitely something else. But it was a good sort of different. Once I got past the beginning, which was a bit slow, I was enthralled by the story. The plotline got very intense all of a sudden and I found myself unable to put the book down. I am glad I read this book because it definitely reminded me of all the reasons why I like books outside of the YA and romance genres as well. It has also inspired me to read a bit more adult books and I will soon be picking up a thriller or two, since I recently bought a load of them.
As mentioned above this book had a bit of a slow start. It was partly because of the descriptiveness of the writing. On the other hand it also had to do with the fact that we were kept in the dark about where this story was headed. But once you read about that first swift turn of events you are instantly sucked into this whirlwind adventure alongside Ambojeem.
It was a very interesting ride to read about Ambojeem and the craziness that has become his life. It was fascinating to see how he handled all these curveballs that where thrown his way. This just felt like a very realistic and humane person. These are hard times that are upon him and still Ambo finds it in himself to care for others. It just gives you that little spark of faith in humanity, especially in this world that is growing so dark. I know this is a fictional book, yet I thought it was inspiring.
Ambojeem is half Somali and he uses a lot of Somali vocabulary in the book. Though usually it’s pretty clear what this word means, we never get a full, definitive answer as to what they mean in some cases. And this was sometimes a little bit of a let-down. As I said, the context often hints us into the right direction, but at times I was still a bit uncertain about certain words or phrases. Though these helped shaped the feel of the situation, I sometimes really wanted to know what these words meant. But this was definitely a minor irritation.
Big news! This Thursday I have a real treat for you! I was able to ask Jonathan R. Miller some questions about this book and I will share his answers with you this Thursday!