First published in America by Kindle Press today, the 31st January 2017.
Where to buy this book:
Buy the book from Amazon.com / Amazon.co.uk
How I got this book:
Received a copy from the publisher as a reward for my successful KindleScout nomination
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Adolescents Elizabeth and Tururu--she's white, he's black--share an uneasy friendship on a remote sisal plantation in 1953's Zimbabwe. Resentment to white rule erupts throwing them into the crossfire of political change and ancient ritual.
To make matters worse, a clash between Tururu's witchdoctor grandmother and her apprentice unleash ancient fire spirits that will make the British overlords look like saints. Will their friendship survive?
The novel's dual viewpoints afford an intimate glimpse into the two faces of a country at a crucial time in its history.
Having recently read Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys meant I was already familiar with some of the traditional spirits and magical beings that are conjured into being in Monkey's Wedding. White's story includes intense scenes of Shona witchcraft as Tururu's grandmother uses her powers for good and other characters use theirs for harm. Despite a few obvious references such as Hillary and Tensing climbing Everest, it was difficult to pin the story down to the 1950s because the land has a sense of timelessness which I thought White evoked well through her characters and narrative. Small farms and towns are dotted across a huge expanse of veld and must appear laughably temporary to the ngozi and other demons we encounter.
I liked how White portrayed her teenage characters, especially in their interactions with each other. Elizabeth comes to realise that perhaps her privileged life isn't as secure as she had previously believed and her family's black servants aren't stupid or dishonest as her mother claims. I would have liked more depth to Monkey's Wedding because it did feel like it only skimmed the surface of deep social, racial and political issues, but this is a nice story and I think would make a good YA introduction to the themes it raises.
Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Rossandra White / Historical fiction / Books from South Africa