Written in a very expressive manner, The Lion Corridor is a story of courage, hope, loyalty and above all endurance.
Chengwe is a young man who has been serving in the police force in his country. Corruption and oppression of the masses has become the order of the day; government officials use the police to harass the people.
As a police officer, Chengwe has been forced to commit many offenses which he is not proud of. But when he is given a dangerous ultimatum to either kill or be killed, he knows he has to flee, if only to save his life. With only a rucksack, he sets off in the South to take refuge in the neighboring country. The biggest challenge is to successfully cross the huge expanse of wilderness, the lion corridor. The author’s vivid description of the wildness makes it a more adventurous read. Just before crossing the electric fence into the wilderness, he meets Mrs. Mlambo, Gideon and Grace, also fleeing to the south.
With his travelling companions, they plunge into the unknown, their only hope being the better life in the other country. The real story begins once they are in the wilderness: the lack of adequate food, water and life’s little comforts test their resilience and determination. Their close encounters with the wild animals will surely give the reader an adrenaline rush. These challenges only make them reminisce about the easier old days. Mrs Mlambo says,
“Life used to be good, but things have been getting worse for years. People never used to go bed with the burning pain of hunger. How can you tell a child that you gave him food yesterday?……” Will life be better on the other side?”
Chengwe is portrayed as a good and generous man- he leads the group, offers good advice even though he had never been in the wilderness – all he knows is from stories told back at home. Grace is a beautiful, humble and courageous girl – she endures the ordeal with composure. Mrs. Mlambo is a lovable woman, superstitious while Gideon could be described as the ‘black sheep’ of the group. Always pessimistic about Chengwe’s ideas and decisions, he abandons them when they are near their destination and at a time his help was needed most.
For a debut novel, it makes for an interesting read, but it leaves the reader yearning for more; what was happens on the other side?
The Lion Corridor (released 2012), is the Bert Huff’s first book.