LAST_UPDATEFri, 20 Jul 2018 10pm

[MD Book Review] ‘Dumped’: A Local Author’s Debut Novel On Life, Love, Loss And Letting Go

Pic: Twitter (@amalghazali)Pic: Twitter (@amalghazali)

Mentally sketching out our future during our adolescent years or early 20s is a common hobby amongst the female population. But as the years goes by, we discover that life does not follow our plans or daydreams to the T.

That is the essence that brought Amal Nadiah Ghazali to archive her “journey of lessons through breakups, mishaps and misadventures” in her debut novel entitled, ‘Dumped’.

“I was going to settle for a job that I like, travel the world, fall in love with somebody who liked exactly the things I liked, meet my girlfriends for dinner every Friday, and spend the rest of my days with my family, reading, writing and Sunday breakfasts at the balcony of my posh city apartment. I’ll be content until the day I die peacefully in my own bed,” read a passage from her prologue.

But of course, life did not go according to plan.

Days turned into weeks, weeks to months, and months to years. Before she knew it, the then 20-year-old aspiring geologist is now a 29-year-old lady, who grapples with the unsolicited question: ‘When is the wedding date?’ – a question that many women of her age group find dreadful.

“The number twenty-nine means different things to different people. For my mother, it meant a third child is on the way. For my colleague from Oklahoma, it meant already seeing half of the world. For a Kardashian, it means approaching your second divorce. But where I come from, it means ‘find someone now or you will die alone with five cats’,” she relayed.

Pic: Malaysian DigestPic: Malaysian Digest

As Amal took a stroll down memory lane and revisited her life, she marvelled at how much she had gone through and learnt for the past nine years and acknowledged how far she had come and grown since her days sitting at the bank of the Swan River in Perth – envisioning her future.

Published by MPH Group Publishing, ‘Dumped’ is the chronicles of a woman’s journey of self-discovery as the author recounted her adventures of being stranded on a ship in the middle of the sea for weeks, getting trapped in a whorehouse in Vietnam and going through a series of bad dates.

But contrary to popular belief, the novel is not another autobiography depicting the author’s journey to find true love and neither does it preach about loving yourself unconditionally and unapologetically prior to finding the love of your life.

‘Dumped’ is an entertaining anecdote laced with witty humour and familiar misadventures, which will give readers a sense of normalcy and through it all, Amal reminds readers of the powerful yet often overlooked truth.

It is a story that remind readers that life unfolds in unexpected ways, even when we try our hardest to grasp utmost control of our lives – which this writer personally feels will serve well for younger readers who have planned out their lives and are aiming to ensure it goes out as flawless as they envisioned.

“Our existence is defined not by the giant plot twists, but an accumulation of smaller moments we sometimes barely pay attention to,” the NST columnist who writes once bi-weekly in her column called ‘Amal Muses’ pointed out.

“I think of all those moments, the people I had met and the places I had been, all somehow intricately designed to put me right here, in my own little kitchen in my little apartment I now call home, with gorgeous food and a cup of tea.

“Who would’ve known that this is how this part of the story would end?”

To discover what (or which) end the newly published author is speaking of, interested readers can purchase ‘Dumped’ from your nearest MPH bookstore outlet for RM35.90 or at Kinokuniya bookstore or any Borders bookstore near you.

While the book may not be everyone's cup of tea, we at Malaysian Digest would like to congratulate Amal on her debut novel.

We are the author of our lives; we decide how each chapter and the conclusion of our life plays out.

- Malaysian Digest