A powerful personal account of one African girl's experience with colonization. Intensely highlights her struggles in severe cultural transition.
Easy read. Opens your mind to another culture.
Tambu, an adolescent living in colonial Rhodesia of the '60s, seizes the opportunity to leave her rural community to study at the missionary school run by her wealthy, British-educated uncle. With an uncanny and often critical self-awareness, Tambu narrates this skillful first novel by a Zimbabwe native. Like many heroes of the bildungsroman, Tambu, in addition to excelling at her curriculum, slowly reaches some painful conclusions--about her family, her proscribed role as a woman, and the inherent evils of colonization. Tambu often thinks of her mother, "who suffered from being female and poor and uneducated and black so stoically." Yet, she and her cousin, Nyasha, move increasingly farther away from their cultural heritage. At a funeral in her native village, Tambu admires the mourning of the women, "shrill, sharp, shiny, needles of sound piercing cleanly and deeply to let the anguish in, not out." In many ways, this novel becomes Tambu's keening--a resonant, eloquent tribute to the women in her life, and to their losses.
This novel is an inspiring journey about the 'struggle' faced by Tambudzai, a black female, in a male-domineering culture. It is set in Zimbabwe, Africa and the descriptions are vivid. It is also a tale that takes the reader into the minds and souls of a number of very interesting characters. It gives a unique insight into life in the 60's in Rhodesia and centers on the coming of age of Tambu. I found this novel totally enjoyable and look forward to her sequel.