The Weight of Our Sky is one of the rarest Malaysian books I enjoy. I did tried a few that even prevent me from reading any further local author works... until this was released. I heard so much about it that I said to myself, alright I will read this and if its not good, I will never read another Malaysian written book ever. And for that, there were no regrets.
Melati Ahmad is a young 16 year-old girl with a Djinn inside her head that torments her with scenes of death of her mother. Taunting her in her daily life, the only way she can suppressed it is by counting of threes. On the day of 13th May, 1969, the inevitable happened and she was cut off from her mother when racial clash between three races happened in Kuala Lumpur. With the Djinn inside her head and Melati need to survive in one of the darkest history event in Malaysia, can Melati ever reunited with her mother without getting caught on both sides?
Fictional and yet, based on May 13th 1969 Racial Clash in Malaysia, I found myself engrossed in reading what would be a better young adult novel about Melati trying to survive and saving some others in need of help and looking for her mother. I love the style of writing and the constant flow of storytelling. Hanna Alkaf had done no other authors (those who wrote historical stories) dare - writing fiction based on May 13th. There is suspense and there is hope, and the genuine of how close reality was written. There are scenes of violence that may make you feel cringe and there scenes of sadness that may make you feel teary. What I like about it is its straightforwardness in telling this story. The characters are well-developed in a sense you can remember them. I always love Aunty Bee and Jaydev, no matter how supporting characters they are. Still, there are words that really are memorable - "Di mana bumi dipijak, di situ langit dijunjung". Absolutely real and priceless.
I am proud to say that this is one Malaysian book everyone should read. Ms. Hanna Alkaf is bold, brave and for her first English debut book on how she wants her book to written, truly a respectable author I am looking forward in the future to read more. If you have not read The Weight of Our Sky, its time to read it.