"Secrets are like scars over a wound that never quite disappears."
All her life Chala has been haunted by a childhood tragedy. When her much-loved stepfather dies suddenly, she escapes to Kenya, to revisit the lake she was named after and a country imbued for her with happy memories.
Kenya has its own troubles, and soon she is caught up in the lives of the orphans she works with and in Kenya’s political turmoil, which brings dangers and tragedies of its own. But although she can walk away from Kenya, she cannot walk away from herself.
Yellow Room is a powerful and absorbing story that explores the power of secrets to run our lives.
I have a strong connection with Kenya, where part of Yellow Room is set. My father is buried there, my mother still lives there and my husband and I spent six years there. We were living in Naivasha, one of the worst hit areas of the country during the post-election violence of 2007, which claimed over a thousand lives and displaced more than half a million people.
The term ‘skeleton in the closet’ was first used in the early 1800s – what a wonderful image that still is! Our own secrets can shape us and drive us, and the secrets of others can be intimately connected with our lives in ways that we may never know.
In Yellow Room, against the backdrop of Kenya, I wanted to explore the way our inner world interacts with and can be affected by another culture and external events around us. Above all, I wanted to explore the power of secrets and the shifting sands of our sense of self…