Living and working in South London for many years, Rachel Jesuvant has witnessed the unique and entertaining urban culture that runs through the city’s youth. Their behaviour is often ludicrous, unexpected, self-centred and cruel. Yet sensitive people, both young and old, and true humanity still dominate the streets.
It inspired Jesuvant to pen ‘Burning Ambitions’, which puts a magnifying glass to youth culture, redemption and justice in a way never before explored through literature.
Liam is a teenager who suffers from a lack of self- esteem as he is rejected by his mother. He wants to join The Krazy Kamworth Krew, a local band of teenagers who spend their time terrorizing their neighbourhood.
The Krew, who have no intention of letting him into their gang, devise a means of using his aspirations to amuse themselves at his expense.
He is allotted the task of raising a fire to prove himself worthy of their number and while he is busy carrying this out, another assigned member of the Krew, Billy, sets fire to Liam`s home.
An added twist to this tale is that Billy is unaware that his own mother was visiting Liam`s mother at this time. Both mothers die in the fire.
Billy who loves his mother is distraught. He blanks out his guilt by convincing himself that Liam was the one who really killed his mother as it was Liam`s desire to join the Krew that led to the chain of events causing the fire. He plans to take vengeance on Liam.
Meanwhile Liam himself suffers from a guilty conscience, as the fire engines which may have saved his mother were delayed because they were at the fire that he himself had started.
This guilt, along with the police`s investigation into his whereabouts during the fire in his mother`s house cause him acute distress.
Meanwhile added complications arise as the detective assigned to the case falls in love with Liam`s beloved Aunt Judy under whose care he is currently placed.
Liam himself regains his self-esteem gradually getting attached to a girl Tania, who feels responsible for her mother`s death, as it was her constantly pestering her loving mother for a fancy mobile phone that ended in her mother buying one and being mugged for it.
Various members of The Krew themselves get entangled with the police and Dwayne the gang leader wants to get rid of them as they may lead the police to his activities.
The novel follows Liam, Billy and their associates through the aftermath of the fires, ending in an unexpected climax with a final conflagration where the outcome differs from that envisaged by each of the group of participants who happen to be in the building at the time.
The final chapter describes the wedding years later, of a rehabilitated Liam to Tania. At the wedding we meet various characters in the novel who themselves have moved on and have achieved contentment in their own ways.
It is a tale both of redemption and just deserts.
“Look, gang culture is typically fuelled by the aspirations, dreams and vulnerabilities of the young people directly involved,” explains the author. “I wanted to write a book that both highlights their plight, while acknowledging the fact that they’re a very embedded part of today’s urban culture. It’s a particularly interesting read for teenagers navigating their own rites of passage, and I had huge fun playing around with words as I pieced it together. This aspect might appeal to those who have outgrown teenage life.”
Continuing, “There were also ample opportunities to gently introduce appropriate humour because, after all, the lighter side of life is what keeps us all going. If you want to get a solid look at today’s youth, through a story that is foremost entertaining and engaging, then I urge you to pick up a copy. I’ve also recently completed a book that deals with the lives and work of those in the public services, which should hit the shelves soon.”
With the volume’s demand increasing, interested readers are urged to secure a copy without delay.
‘Burning Ambitions’ is available to buy HERE
The story of Liam, a teenager with lack of self- esteem, who embarks on a mission to prove himself by committing arson. The story relates the disastrous consequences of the fire on himself and others, ending in an unexpected climax with a final blaze where the outcome differs from that envisaged by each of the participants. It is a story of redemption and just desserts.
About the Author:
Rachel Jesuvant is a doctor who has long experience in working in South London among characters like those portrayed in her writing.