Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Unexpected America by Wanjiru Warama + #Giveaway

Unexpected America by Wanjiru Warama
Published by Athomi Books in November 2016.

Featured in WorldReads: Kenya

How I got this book:
Bought the ebook via Smashwords

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ms. Warama leaves Kenya in a huff and heads to the United States where she doesn't know a soul. From the first day, she realizes she has to learn to live all over again in a new culture she knows nothing about. Loneliness debilitates her until she meets "Mr. Savior" who becomes not only her savior but her lover and abuser. Money runs out and she has to housekeep and babysit to buy a ticket back home. She keeps her tribulations hidden from her family and friends as the idealized American lifestyle turns into a mirage, which Warama plods along like one tethered, hoping her persistence pays off.

Unexpected America was an interesting memoir for me to read because Wanjiru Warama describes her emigration to America in quite a different style. For a start, her choice between whether to study in the UK or the USA is almost arbitrary so she didn't previously have any particular yearning for the country and I could appreciate the culture shock she must overcome during her first months at university. I got the feeling that Warama really hadn't prepared for such an alternative lifestyle which is completely understandable in the circumstances. The memoir does seem to hop around a bit at the beginning, but imparts a good sense of the situations in which Warama finds herself. At times I found myself willing her to be more assertive and stand up for herself, but I can't imagine myself as having been any stronger in such circumstances. That Warama's life eventually turned out as it has is as a result of her perseverance, willingness to keep restarting until she found her niche, and a sprinkling of fortune - both good and bad. Unexpected America is a relatively quick read, but an insightful one nonetheless.

And now it's time for the Giveaway!

The prize is an ebook copy of Unexpected America by Wanjiru Warama which I will gift to the winner via Smashwords. This giveaway is not affiliated with either the author or Smashwords.
Open internationally until midnight (UK time) on the 19th December 2018.

Entry is by way of the Gleam widget below.
(GDPR: Gleam will ask for your email address so that I am able to contact the winner. I will then need to pass the winner's email address on to Smashwords to send out the ebook.)

Unexpected America by Wanjiru Warama memoir ebook giveaway

Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Wanjiru Warama / Biography and memoir / Books from Kenya


  1. oh an story about an immigrant! A topic so dear! straight to m TBR!

    1. Written from a more unusual perspective too. Warama's contrasts between Kenya and America are sometimes surprising

  2. This one sounds quite emotionally heavy? It must be painful to see her in some of the situations and positions she finds herself in. But yes, when in her shoes it must be so much more different than us just experiencing things with distance and as a reader...

    1. It's certainly a different view of the immigration experience and interesting as the first person narration makes it feel so real and immediate