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3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  487 Ratings  ·  94 Reviews
The first time I saw her I was dazed but recovering from a hellish sleep of nightmares. Not sure if it was the scent of coffee lackadaisically meandering across the Serengeti that brought us to our serendipitous moment (do big cats drink coffee?), or if it was that she had told me she'd be here soon. I generally don't have conversations with animals- other than the human k ...more
Kindle Edition, 94 pages
Published (first published October 20th 2010)
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Jane Carroll
Sep 09, 2012 Jane Carroll rated it it was amazing
MALAIKA by Van Heerling is masterfully written. A love story of sorts between a man and a lioness, it speaks of loss and hope and unconditional love. It is a ‘short’ that says everything it needs to say and is well worth the read. I highly recommend it!
S.E. Nelson
Mar 08, 2012 S.E. Nelson rated it it was amazing
I saw the book on the 'Best Indie Books' list on Goodreads and decided to read it. I read it in two days. It is a very beautiful, simple and touching story. A human story that is easy to read and relate to, and most importantly not condescending to Africans, which is very refreshing. There are many life lessons in this story. I would recommend this book to everyone.
Rebecca (agirlirlblog, bekkilyn)
I really wanted to like this story as the theme of a simple life and a lion really appealed to me. When I first downloaded the book, I had the impression that it was written from the perspective of a lioness named Malaika and it wasn't until I got more serious about reading it that I discovered that the narrator was human.

My first issue was getting past the writing style because I really, really dislike this type of writing style in general. The sentences were all very short and choppy and the l
Angelique Jurd
Feb 24, 2012 Angelique Jurd rated it it was amazing
Simplicity is nearly always more powerful than people realise – or understand. Nowhere have I seen this more evident than in Van Heerling’s haunting, beautiful, and, yes, simple Malaika.
The story of the relationship that develops between an American man and a Serengeti lioness (no I’m not being metaphorical – I am referring to the animal) is quite simply stunning. The writing in this story is simple – not in the sense of unsophisticated but in that of uncluttered. Heerling gives you the words yo
May 03, 2012 Irene rated it it was amazing
What a wonderful story!! Highly recommendable !!! I was moved to tears after I had finished it.
The story is about Thomas, a man who decides to spend some time in the Serengeti in Kenya to escape problems at home. He strikes up a friendship with a lioness and in the course of time they also become spiritually connected. In the end, the lioness teaches Thomas an important life lesson.
If you are a teacher, you can also use this book in the classroom since there is a lesson plan at the end of the b
Tom Elder
Aug 19, 2013 Tom Elder rated it it was amazing
Malaika. Moving story
Van Heerling
I had heard so much about this short story that I just had read it and see what all the fuss was about.
Set in Kenya it certainly tugged at the heart strings, and was an awesome story. This is a story of a man from America who went to Africa to find the simple things in life.
I had read that the story has made some people cry, but I am a man so crying is not for me so why then was I sobbing like a baby towards the end of this story.
5 stars. 19 August 2013.
Brenda Perlin
Jun 04, 2014 Brenda Perlin rated it it was amazing

I love the conversational way the author shares his story. Takes me right in like a great big hug. MALAIKA by Van Heerling comforts you as the tale plays out. The writing is smooth and sharp. Never trying too hard. Written in a realistic familiar tone. I love that inviting feeling that was MALAIKA. I was entertained and captivated at the same time. I loved the telling of the story. Really grabbed my attention. A beautifully crafted adventure that was vivid and moving. Highly recommend!
What a sweet book. Really I don't know how to say it better. Ok , it is quite unbelievable, because such a friendship between a lion and a man sounds more like fantasy, but nevertheless it is lovely. Short, written well, cute and with a sad ending(spoiler). Loved it :)
Feb 15, 2012 Marie rated it it was amazing
What a wonderful story. I truly loves this book. It is short, so I read it in one day, but its so gripping and different. I laughed and cried while reading this book, which says A lot I believe!
M.G. Edwards
Sep 10, 2012 M.G. Edwards rated it really liked it
I was looking for free books to read and downloaded Van Heerling’s novella “Malaika” on a whim. I’m glad I did. It’s a fast but good read about an American expatriate named Thomas living in Kenya who escapes the West by immersing himself in the culture of the Serengeti and getting in touch with his wild side -- in this case, safari wildlife on the African plains. I don’t want to give the fantastic story away beyond mentioning that it revolves around his conflicting relationships with a lion prid ...more
Van Heerling
Apr 11, 2011 Van Heerling rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I would like to thank Dpp for this review. MALAIKA is my first released work. I am truly grateful for all the heartfelt reviews.

All Amazon Reviews:

Amazon Review by Dpp:

"For several days, I found myself completely absorbed in this novella. In fact, I actually read it twice.

Man's relationships take center stage in this story about love and the many expected and unexpected ways that it manifests itself in our lives...`Malaika' is a heartwarming, multi-fac
Shannon Hutcheson
Apr 13, 2012 Shannon Hutcheson rated it it was amazing
I read this novella in about an hour. It was quite short for me, but just right for the story. I was glued to the pages and engrossed in every word. The author has easily made his readers feel like they are right with Thomas and Malaika. I really appreciated how the allusion of their conversations is not so far fetched, it's something you easily accept as not only possible but likely.

I cried, no, I bawled unabashedly at the conclusion. I cried I think more because of the beauty of what was lost
Sarah Baethge
Dec 19, 2011 Sarah Baethge rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Malaika by Van Heerling is a story about an American man trying to run away from the problems in his life by immersing himself in the so called ‘simpler’ life of tribal wilderness in the Serengeti of Africa. Unexpectedly he finds himself befriended by a wild lioness who seems to be running away from her pride for unknown reasons. As the two grow closer until it almost seems they can communicate, the man an the beast find that their problems are eerily similar. As the narrator tries to help the f ...more
D.G. Torrens
Sep 08, 2012 D.G. Torrens rated it it was amazing
This story has infinite depth because of the issues that are introduced. "Malaika", a beautiful gentle big cat who connects with the main character in such a way it tears at your heart. The beautiful Malaika communicates through telepathy and imparts knowledge and truth to his newly found human companion. This story is so eloquently written and so beautifully told I could visualize everything as if I was right there in the middle of the story myself. It makes you realize how precious life is. I ...more
A man running away from his problems runs to Kenya and develops an unlikely friendship with Malaika the Lioness.
She is a real lion peeps. This is a sweet story but it dragged a bit. I'm not sure if I was just really tired or what but it took me a while to get through this short story. It was well written I just felt it was a bit slow at times. It read as a memoir. I came to love the characters in the book. I have to say that the one thing the author was on point with was to capture the spiritua
Dec 03, 2012 Eric rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I found this work to be very descriptive of the modern human condition, as it is typified in the western world. We consider our choices to be events beyond our control when they are not. We estrange ourselves from people and feel the situation is irreparable when that is anything but the case. The author did a splendid job of blending people from two drastically different worlds together and relating not only their differences but their similarities as well. We, as human beings, are all the same ...more
Gae-Lynn Woods
Dec 22, 2011 Gae-Lynn Woods rated it it was amazing
Malaika is not a genre that I normally read, but I enjoyed this book very much. Heerling is a painter with words. He builds beautiful scenes and allows us to take a peek inside the intimate lives of his characters. The story is a heartbreakingly enchanting tale of a unique relationship between a man and a lioness. If only the world and its one-dimensional perceptions could have stayed at bay, the story would've had a much happier ending! A quick read that lingers, Malaika is well worth your time ...more
Dawn Jayne
Jan 21, 2012 Dawn Jayne rated it it was amazing
Shelves: novella
Loved this novella about an American that moves to the Serengeti to embrace a simpler life and, it seems, to also run from his problems. He encounters a lioness who is living apart from her pack, and the two develop a 'friendship' that is absolutely lovely.
The story was very visual, and read much like a memoir. I became lost in the narration and the author's interesting use of language. Some of the lines made me laugh, other times I was shaking my head in amazement at the way words were combined
Dec 02, 2012 Kanni rated it really liked it
This was a surprising find. I like to download from Amazon's top 100 (free) best seller's list and I stumbled upon this novella. I didn't know what I was getting into and there's not many books that can bring a literal tear to my eye, but this one certainly did. It's short, yet touching.

I wish I could do this book (and author) justice by describing it the way it deserves, but I'm no wordsmith. All I know is, I was left with a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction when I least expected it. It wa
Aug 02, 2012 Colleen rated it it was amazing
As an animal-lover with a strong interest in Africa, I found this book to be hauntingly refreshing and inspirational. The friendship between man and lioness was incredibly moving, and the shocking (though predictable) climax brought me to tears. The powerful ending and the theme of forgiveness certainly left an impression that will not soon be forgotten. I defintely recommend this novella!
Carol Baker
Jan 13, 2013 Carol Baker rated it it was amazing
What an amazing story... Cultural, racial and social struggles combined with love, friendship and forgiveness. The novella is layered with rich visuals and an ethereal feel to the last word. Worthy of an hour or so of your time.
Daniel Zazitski
Jan 29, 2013 Daniel Zazitski rated it it was amazing
Just finished reading this book and I really enjoyed it. Van Heerling has written a story that will keep you turning the page in anticipation of what will happen next. I highly recommend getting a copy to read or for a friend.
Sep 07, 2012 Carol rated it it was amazing
I read this book in a few hours. It's short but such a lovely tale! I found myself right there in the main character's camp, romping with this lion. What a beautiful story. Have your tissues handy. It's a great read for a lazy afternoon.
Sep 27, 2012 Matthew rated it really liked it
Captivating story and characterization. The author concentrates an amazing amount of emotion and tension in this gem of a novella.
Paul Rega
Apr 15, 2012 Paul Rega rated it it was amazing
A magical book written by a master story teller. The author has been here himself or at least you feel that he has and is about to enter into that realm.
Laura of Lurking
May 08, 2015 Laura of Lurking rated it really liked it
A Beautiful short of inter-racial and inter-species relationships. This was well written and touching, chronicling the lives of lion and man as their relationship developed and changed.
Sep 01, 2012 Thomas rated it it was amazing
Excellent short story about a man who befriends a lioness. Very quick read but excellently done.
Sep 06, 2012 Glenna rated it really liked it
Very short book or "booklet", but the writing was beautiful and very touching.
Feb 14, 2012 Lenora rated it really liked it
Very sweet story
Apr 01, 2012 Joe rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle-books
I liked it. Good short read.
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“Well, my friend, if I may be blunt, all this time you have talked about how you walked away from your American life. How you walked away from your wife. And the reasons you have put forth to me about why and how your children would be better if you left. You may see your wife and children at anytime, however. They are only a sea away. This is the American loss I speak of. - A portion of Abasi's explanation of how ridiculous westerners can be.” 1 likes
“The reason for my story is we have a place in life. We belong to a system, and every piece has its place.” 0 likes
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