We rated this book:


This highly acclaimed novel was anathema to me. The language seemed strange and unconnected. The narrative, as such, was disjointed. Purportedly about a family struggling with their secrets against a backdrop of violence and uprisings, this reader found the shards of story so confusing that it frustrated further reading. At least in Russian novels, the characters are outlined at the beginning for ease of reading. Here the words, places and characters are unfamiliar and hard to follow. Some of the fragments, however, are quite poetic: “Later. Too soon. Ajany watches her mother’s silhouette merge with the vast darkness in a slow-flow dance. On a distant hill, a pinprick of firelight. It wavers. She watches until time – or something like time – becomes seeing. After that, there is more waiting.” Reading this book troubles the brain like a koan. It is a disturbing vision much like the conflicts today in Africa. If one is more schooled in the culture, perhaps this book would be understandable. To this reader, the story is not compelling.

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Star Count 1/5
Format Hard
Page Count 369 pages
Publisher Knopf
Publish Date 2014-Jan-28
ISBN 9780307961204
Bookshop.org Buy this Book
Issue April 2014
Category Modern Literature


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