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Books for COVID-19 lockdown: The tears of dark water

Updated: Apr 12, 2020

By Ayanda Mandlazi

Whilst deep in the Indian ocean tragedy strikes, their ship gets hijacked by Somali Pirates. This book about the rules of the sea or lack thereof. It’s set in the deep blue and lawless seas.

Whilst deep in the Indian ocean tragedy strikes, their ship gets hijacked by Somali Pirates.”

Two Americans, a boat, Somali pirates and the U.S .Government. Daniel Parker and his eighteen year old son decided to sail across the ocean to find themselves.

Every character in this book has some troubled history. This story may seem like all the other tragic stories that involves American citizens, their government to the rescue and everyone else is any enemy. Yet it’s far deeper than that, what the author was able to do was to humanise everybody, he gave everybody a name, a background story from the troubled land of Somalia to what seemingly the American success story.

American sailor; Daniel is a successful power broker in Washington but had to leave it all behind because his marriage was in shambles. Quentin, their son, was self-destructing, they had to escape. They go on a mission to find themselves only to find trouble waiting for them in the middle of the Indian Ocean. We soon get to introduced to one of the pirates, the leader Ismail Ibrahim has escaped Al-Shabaab after seeing his father being murdered, seeing his brother dying and the only living sibling he’s left with, a sister, is kidnapped by the most dangerous man so that means he’ll do anything to rescue her. Even if it means taking a life. Another important character is Paul Derrick, the hostage negotiator hired by the U.S. Government, He soon discovers that this job will take him back to his traumatic past, something he really wanted he thought he already put to bed.

At times I found myself frustrated because of the twist and turns but never have I ever felt the need to abandon the book. I was blindsided into the few chapters that I had to close it to regain my thinking and get my thoughts in order, that blindside was the most heart-wrenching. It leaves you with difficult questions about life and what is deemed as success in the process lose what’s most important to you. Is it all worth it ? Some parts of the book left me reeling at the state of humanity and how easy it is to put a price on a life.

Some may be put off by the political talk such as the Al-Shabaab situation in Somalia but the author handled it delicately. The story doesn’t really centre around that, it just gives the characters some background. At times you may find that he’s trying too hard to be the neutral American because they’re known for ignorance which it’s not such a bad thing because he could’ve painted the country in an unappealing way.

The Tears of Dark Water is not a literary masterpiece but it is story-telling at its best. It will keep you engaged, forces you to turn a page until the very last one. That’s the most you need from book. To be able to take the journey and I can promise you that you’ll be thinking about it days after you finished reading it. Go get yourself a copy and immerse yourself on this rather tragic yet beautiful story.


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