The Maple Leaf

Pete KJ
Narrator: Daniel Anthony Carey

INSPIRATIONAL:  On the playground of Maple Leaf Elementary, Vincent and Troy begin an unlikely friendship.  However, as the years go by, racism and distance divide them, each taking a very different path. “The Maple Leaf” follows not only these two men as they grow and make life-altering decisions but also two women who have varied influence on both of their lives.  Sometimes in life, paths cross never to cross again, but for Vincent and Troy, decades can go by and still their lives find a way to merge once more.

“The Maple Leaf” is a book for anyone who desires to follow the life of a character, diving into every minute detail, encompassing all the good and bad the characters encounter though the years.  Mr. KJ introduces an intriguing idea about the effects of racism on two different lives, but the story’s execution falls flat. Having multiple perspectives, with several different story lines, creates a confusing and unstructured story.  Although the secondary plotlines bring down the story, the friendship between Troy and Vincent is what will be enjoyable to readers.

With decades of life to cover and many character stories wrapped together, this audiobook is for extremely focused listeners.  The consistent changing of perspective and the rapid change in time makes it hard to remember when in the story one is and whose story is being told.  In order to get through the overly slow speech and the too long pauses, speeding up the audio is necessary to not get lost in the story.  Although Mr. Carey does give each character a unique voice, most voices are stereotypical and come off as offensive. If one is looking for a slow-paced listen, “The Maple Leaf” may be the book for them.

Amy Cefoldo