• How-beautiful-we-were-featured-image
    ARCS,  BOOK REVIEWS,  CENTRAL AFRICA,  CULTURAL,  FICTION,  LITERARY FICTION,  NETGALLEY

    BOOK REVIEW : HOW BEAUTIFUL WE WERE BY IMBOLO MBUE

    How Beautiful We Were is a literary fiction/cultural fiction written by Imbolo Mbue. The story is set in the fictional African village of Kosawa. It tells the heartwrenching tale of the suffering and turmoil caused by the greed of western oil companies. The story is an unforgettable one written with brutal honesty and captures the readers from the get-go. It is told from multiple perspectives helping us put together the puzzle that will leave us with the whole picture. All characters provide us with insight into the situation and help us learn the life before and after the companies started to drill for oil. It is a powerful story that…

  • the-first-woman-featured-image
    ADULT,  ARCS,  BOOK REVIEWS,  CULTURAL,  EAST AFRICAN,  FICTION,  LITERARY FICTION,  NETGALLEY

    BOOK REVIEW : THE FIRST WOMAN BY JENNIFER NANSUBUGA MAKUMBI

    The First Woman is my first book from the Ugandan novelist Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi. Her first novel is very well received. When I read the synopsis of the book, I was intrigued. The novel tells the story of a young girl Kirabo raised by her grandparents in a rural village in Uganda. Her father is only an occasional visitor, while there is no news about her mother. As she starts to grow up, she feels the absence of her mother and is on a quest to find out more about her. She searches out Nsuuta, the village witch, to learn more about herself and her mom. Nsuuta tells her the…

  • The-Exiles-featured-image
    ADULT,  ARCS,  BOOK REVIEWS,  CULTURAL,  FICTION,  HISTORICAL FICTION,  LITERARY FICTION,  NETGALLEY,  WOMEN'S FICTION

    BOOK REVIEW : THE EXILES BY CHRISTINA BAKER KLINE

    The Exiles by Christina Baker Kline is a well-researched historical fiction set in 19th century Australia. The book tells us the story of three women, Evangeline, Hazel, and Mathinna. Evangeline and Hazel are the two English convicts who get sentenced to Van Diemen’s Land. The Prisoners from Newgate Prison got often transported to the Island, where they had to complete the rest of their sentences. Mathinna is the Aboriginal orphan who gets uprooted from her life to live with the governor and his wife. The book is vividly descriptive and meticulously researched, giving the readers a distinct impression of the hardships and oppression faced each of these women during their…

  • A-Single-swallow-featured-image
    ADULT,  ARCS,  BOOK REVIEWS,  CULTURAL,  FICTION,  HISTORICAL FICTION,  LITERARY FICTION,  NETGALLEY

    BOOK REVIEW : A SINGLE SWALLOW BY LING ZHANG, TRANSLATED BY SHELLY BRYANT

    A Single Swallow is the story of a young woman Ah Yan. Ah Yan's life story, her journey from a naive young girl to a courageous young woman, is told from the perspectives of the three men in her life. After Japan's surrender, bringing an end to World War 2. The three men, after a day of joyous celebrations, take a vow to meet every year at the village. It was where they have lived, fought a war, and survived challenging times. Now seventy years later, they get to fulfill their promise. The American missionary Pastor Billy, the gunner’s mate Ian Ferguson, and a local soldier Liu Zhaohu come together…

  • black-sunday-featured-image
    ADULT,  ARCS,  BOOK REVIEWS,  CULTURAL,  FICTION,  LITERARY FICTION,  NETGALLEY,  WEST AFRICAN

    BOOK REVIEW : BLACK SUNDAY BY TOLA ROTIMI ABRAHAM

    Black Sunday by Tola Rotimi Abraham is a West-African literary fiction set in Lagos. I requested this book primarily because of the cover. That cover drew me in, and once I read the synopsis I was intrigued by it. The story is told from the POVs of the 4 siblings who were left by their mother and then, later on by their father as well. They were entrusted to the care of a reluctant grandmother with whom they spent their life. The story is an up-close examination of the 4 individuals' lives, and how they grow up with abandonment, loss, poverty, and other struggles. There are several important social issues…