Sunday, 26 November 2017

African Me And Satellite TV by Jo Robinson

African Me And Satellite TV by Jo Robinson
Published by Weaverback Press in September 2013.

Where to buy this book:


Amazon UK

Amazon US



The Book Depository



How I got this book:
Bought the ebook from Amazon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

For many years Suzette has managed very well to live her life without actually taking part in it, avoiding any possibility of pain by very carefully ignoring reality. Until something happens. Something so terrible that she has no choice but to abandon her cocoon of safety.

After the brutal beating of an elderly domestic worker, Suzette takes her in, and sets off a chain of events that leads to devastating heartbreak. And an unexpected hero changes everything. Finally finding her voice, she speaks out, and her world explodes, culminating in the death of a very special man.

On her path to make amends, she discovers the story of his life, connects with the people of his past, and finds the chance to fully live her life once again if that’s what she chooses to.

I noticed African Me And Satellite TV reviewed on a few other book blogs a year or so ago and thought the novel looked interesting. With Zimbabwe in the news again at the moment I was reminded of the book and bought myself a copy. This is a good story with a strong moral message and I enjoyed reading it. At one point our protagonist, Suzette, comments on her enjoyment of the Alexander McCall Smith Number One Ladies Detective Agency series which I had been thinking African Me reminded me of in style. Although African Me is not crime fiction as such, I think readers who like the McCall Smith books would also appreciate this one.

Robinson's cast of black and white Zimbabweans span a wide spectrum of the country's people allowing her to show varied attitudes. Suzette herself becomes a more rewarding character as the story progresses. At first she struck me as just another irritatingly spoilt white woman, but there is more depth to her. Suzette discovers this along with her readers! Robinson weaves powerful themes into this novel. The hardships in Zimbabwe's recent past, racism and violence, and who has rights to the land, all play a strong part in directing the characters' actions. The harsh racism of newcomers Alison and Peter Sherman is especially shocking. It depressed me to remember that many white people are still so ignorant.

However, this is not a depressing novel, but ultimately an uplifting story of the power of love and friendship. For me Princess, Suzette's accomplished cook, is as much the centre of the tale as Suzette. Expressing her love through the incredible meals she creates, Princess embodies reconciliation and the way forward.

Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Jo Robinson / Contemporary fiction / Books from South Africa

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