I was hooked from the line: "...rain was a rumor that would not come true for many months." The first line is very gripping also. So far this is a very good example of mixing narrative with expository for effect. This book is a definite most read for me. Thanks for choosing it, Suzanne.
Here's another pro vote for consideration of the devastation being wrought by what I'm told they call "slim" in (East) Africa: the wasting symptoms that precede the inevitable death from this incurable illness, that is emptying village after village up and down and across the continent. And to inject the idea of love? Marvellous: thank you!
I really hope you all give this book a try this week. I read it quite some time ago, as the author is a friend of my husband's, but I really thought it was an amazing book. I am interested to hear what eveyone thinks!
From the beginning, this book captured my attention as interesting although inevitably sad, but after today's read, I am realizing there is another layer to this story provided by the author's personal history. I know many people who have grown up with preconditioned notions and they have never realized how these actually limit their lives. The fact that the author recognizes how his beginnings influence the path of his life and that he is willing to develop beyond this add another dimension to this book that I believe will make this a great read rather than just a "good" book. I look forward to finishing it.
Today's read has me pole-axed. As a white person I also need to admit to automatic, thoughtless racism, imbibed via daily conversation, movies, news and social conventions and just as carelessly repeated? I wince to recall painful moments like this: "I think I understood for the first time that the word I
used had said nothing about Theron, about the actor, or even about
black people in general. It said boatloads, however, about me. And I
didn't like what that said at all"? Bracing writing.
How can you just stop it right there? I can't wait to read on, I really can't.
I'm a white woman who didn't grow up in the South, but my high school was mixed, though by law, not by choice. My parent's schools were desegregated; in Kansas, no less, a generation before it was mandatory. I feel very fortunate to live in a mixed neighborhood. I can relate to the author when he says the black people would acknowledge each other on the street, but the northern white folks didn't. My black neighbors are more likely to wave or say hi to me than my white ones. It's like living a warm fuzzy. I want to know more. And knowing we will explore another country and culture, and the adoption of a child -- like I said, I can't wait.
This was an amazing book, not an easy subject, but I could not put it down. It covered so many subjects that it was hard to explain it to others. I have recommended this book to a friend for her book club.