BOOK NOOK: ‘Shades of Life’ by Pasomi Mucha - Daily Nation

‘Shades of Life’ by Pasomi Mucha a great read for teens

Tuesday December 5 2017

Shades of Life is Pasomi Mucha’s first

Shades of Life is Pasomi Mucha’s first published novel, a choice addition to a personal library with lessons for everyone from the parent, teacher to students and everyone in between. PHOTO| BENSON MWANGI 

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How does child brought up in affluence, wealth and opulence whose snobbishness, pride and understanding of life are out of touch with the world “develop a touch of reality”? Shellsea is the quintessential spoilt teenager who only understands luxury and abundance and takes everything for granted.

Her royal life has taken her to foreign countries and it is normal for her to interact with the rich and exclusive without even trying.


She’s the daughter of a single mother, a hardworking woman who traverses the globe for business as you would your neighbourhood.

The mother of a girl and boy, Wambui wa Waigwa is your typical high class, rich, hardworking woman who is so busy that she rarely spends time with her children. But she is wise enough to realise her eldest child and beloved daughter needs help.

One day without fanfare, Shellsea arrives home and she is informed by her mother that she is up for a whole new surprise.  “I want you to change schools. I need you to develop a touch of reality. Life is not the velvet cushion I have surrounded you with in all your existence. Life is tough.”  The terse words are shattering to a teenager who did not know better or cared less. 

From their urban palace in the luxurious suburbs of the city and the best school money could afford, centres of learning with helps and lavish buffets for food, the girl is transposed to a lacklustre ordinary institution where her spoilt ilk believe has beds lined with bedbugs with voracious appetites lurking in the folds. The idea of even doing her own washing is a horrendous thought akin to a slap on the face.


Shellsea is about to take a shocking journey to the ordinary part of life where ordinary girls from ordinary households get their education in a boarding school at the top of a hill overlooking a village in the heart of nowhere.

It is the resolve of a mother who seeks a second chance in parenting to prepare her daughter for the gruelling, merciless journey of life where good food is just a dream for many.

She must be inculcated with life skills and stirred to transform her personality, education, and goals in life, attitude towards people-to grow up. Shellsea’s adventure in the school of the commoners will have an effect on her family, her icy relationship with her strong-willed distant mother and everyone who falls on her path.


Pasomi Mucha has crafted an easy–to-read high school adventure everyone will identify with. Shades of Life is written with the astuteness of a writer who understands her material.

She lays out the wisdom and effect of an education among the hoi polloi, the salt of the earth that has a way of compelling you to see life clearer.

While Shades of Life has a teenage inflection over it the story is about parents and the difficult of bringing up children who are not ready to eke their space in an unforgiving world. It’s the story of students who live secluded lives without an inkling of how people around them live, of the effect of a school boarding community in shaping a teen’s mind as she comes across diverse personalities and rough dainties of life while learning to live with others.

An account of the hardworking industry of teachers who give their best to their students including life changing life skills on everything from teen relationships, dangers of STIs and HIV, careers to sex even when their personal and private lives far away from the classroom are acrimonious, wounding and heart-breaking.  

The fast-flowing novel is tastefully written, characters well developed and narrative and dialogues superbly contrived. Before you know it you have reached the end as the spellbinding story holds your attention taking you to a world, the theatre of Academia Girls’ Boarding School where parents, girls, teachers, a few boys and the external community converge.  

With the 2017 December holiday already underway and lots of days ahead before the beginning of the next academic year in Kenya, Shades of Life is a perfect book to put on every teen’s hand. Shades of Life is Pasomi Mucha’s first published novel, a choice addition to a personal library with lessons for everyone from the parent, teacher to students and everyone in between.  


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