What an amazing book by first-time novelist, Natasha Tynes!
“They Called Me Wyatt” is a two-part story beginning with Siwar Salaiha, a Jordanian student who is murdered on her birthday in College Park, Maryland, and is then reincarnated into a three year old boy named Wyatt. The second part of the book takes place twenty-five years later when Wyatt is a college student who is fascinated with the Middle East, and then, for reasons he can’t explain, becomes obsessed with Siwar’s murder. The case was originally ruled a suicide by police detectives. But only Wyatt knows that this was not a suicide, and he devotes his time to finding justice for Siwar.
This book had me hooked starting with page one. The storyline moves along at a nice clip and I found myself wanting more at the end of each chapter. It’s one of those books where you say to yourself “just one more chapter…” until you find yourself at the end of the book before you realize it.
I was surprised to learn from this book that the belief in reincarnation is practiced among some in the Middle East:
“There were some rumors though surrounding the Druze community in Lebanon, an offshoot of Islam. They apparently believed in reincarnation, and there were many tales of children all of a sudden narrating stories of their previous lives. The first time a child starts telling tales of a previous existence, they refer to it as Nataq, which translates into “he spoke”.”
There were many other interesting facts about the Middle East that were included in this story that helps the reader to understand that region a little better. It’s a region that is misunderstood in many ways. I appreciated how the main character opens up this world to us and how we get to follow her experience as a woman in Jordan and then as a student in Maryland.
To say that I loved this book would be an understatement. Tynes is an amazing writer who has a knack for storytelling and I was very surprised at how the story ended!
I’m honored that I was selected to receive an advanced copy of her book to review.