Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Short Story Review: The Story of Hennelie Hamster RUNNING WILD at Christmas Time on a Farm in Zimbabwe by Nikki Ziehl

And now for a little bit of inspiration.  Today's feature is a short story featuring the brave Hennelie Hamster.

For a short story, this one has quite a long title, but it lets you know what you're in for.  It tells you who the main character is, what she's doing, when she's doing it and where she is when she's doing it.  Plus, it fits together nicely on the cover, which makes me smile every time I see it.

I came across the link and intro to this story on the CreateSpace message boards near the end of last year before I really got into writing reviews.  In fact, when I looked at the review I had for this one, I decided it was way too skimpy: just two sentences and a corny thank you to the author.  So, here is my revamped review for The Story of Hennelie Hamster Running Wild at Christmas Time on a Farm in Zimbabwe.

The Story of Hennelie Hamster RUNNING WILD at Christmas Time on a Farm in Zimbabwe by Nikki Ziehl
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This story is beautiful and inspiring.

Hennelie Hamster is my new hero. She overcomes many obstacles, including her own doubts and fears to achieve her goal of a better life for herself and her children.

This is a memorable story.  Even months after reading it, I can recall Hennelie's journey. Escaping her abusive mate, meeting the strange and delightful animals on the farm, and working towards her ultimate goal of finding a safe place to build a new life.

Through all of her trials, Hennelie draws comfort and strength from her believe in a Creator.  Her belief in a higher power helps her overcome challenges both inside her heart (fear, doubt, despair) and external (dangerous animals, abusive mate, harsh landscape). The spirituality portrayed in this story is not overbearing, but it is central to Hennelie's growth as an individual.

As a short story, this one packs a lot into a tiny package. Not only is the story solid, but it's also filled with interesting creatures from Zimbabwe.  The author brings her experiences from living there into the story, making Hennelie's encounters seem realistic and the portrayal of the setting and animals accurate.

I think the only downer was in the afterword where Ms. Ziehl reveals the real-life fate of the hippos that inspired the ones in the story.

Overall, a wonderful tale! I recommend this story to those who enjoy a quick read, inspirational stories, exotic locations, and animal characters.  There is a strong Christian theme, so those who enjoy Christian or spiritual literature may also find this book to their liking.

View all my reviews