Children’s literature is a genre that is perhaps one of the most difficult to write for. It needs the story to be told with clarity, yet be intriguing enough to hold the attention of young inquisitive minds, should look at things from a child’s perspective and eventually deliver a message at the end in the most subtle manner.
Ayesha Marfani’s I am Full Truth, I am Half Truth, I am All Lie manages to do almost all these things. This emerging children’s writer is a welcome addition to the growing group of authors from the country, producing literature for young readers that is more representative of our culture and values.
Marfani’s story here focuses on distinctly different characters whose personalities undergo changes as the story moves forward. It is the story of a family of three reclusive brothers and their spouses and sons. The characters are anything but perfect, this fact is conveyed early on by stressing on the ugly features of the three brothers and their wives, which makes them so self-conscious that they shun society and move to like by a lake in the middle of a forest.
Each of the brothers has a son, and though physically they are normal, but each has a character flaw — one tells lies very effortlessly, the other speaks half-truth and half-lie and the last one bluntly speak the truth. All have developed this habit though the influence of their parents.
These flawed characters, coupled with their unnatural reclusive lives, lead to complications that make them realise the error of their ways.
I found the storyline very creative and different, and the author has gone to great pains to develop the story while giving almost equal focus to all the three children. And this has led to the text being more detailed than necessary. It could easily have been crispier, but it seems Marfani is making sure that the moral lesson she wants to give children is well-conveyed.
Ayesha Marfani claims to have a passion for words and learning, which is why there are different activities at the end to keep the readers engaged with the book and the learning process. The writer’s books are right now only available online on amazon.com and through the writer’s blog http://www.wordscatcher.com
Published in Dawn, Young World, May 18th, 2019