Sunday, November 25, 2012

Take a Trip Through Time and Africa

Belonging in Africa – by Jo Alkemade

288 pages
footnotes/endnotes: No
Illustrations: No
Suitable for eReaders: Yes

Disclaimer: I am a friend of Jo's, so my review might be just a tad biased, but don't let that stop you from buying and reading this great book!

Sara, the protagonist of the novel, is a Dutch girl coming of age in Nairobi, Kenya in the 1970s. She has lived all over the world, as her father's job moved, but Kenya, Africa, is where she feels she belongs. Her overbearing parents want her to return to their native country, Holland, to be near her aunties and attend secretarial school. She wants to remain in Kenya.

She meets, and falls in love with Sam, a traditional African man, who is from Uganda. His father is imprisoned there, and Sam, as the first son of the first wife, is 'man of the family.' Sam has been accepted at university in London, and wants Sara to accompany him, and when their schooling is over, they will return to Kenya. However, he must first return to his family and make sure everything is in order before travelling so far.

This is Sara's dream come true. Until Fate steps in. While Sam is in Uganda, she receives a phone call that changes her life. Ignoring her father's demand she remain home, she journeys to the village of Sam's birth a young and naive girl. She returns to her home a few days later, a young woman of resolution.

Reading this book is like taking a trip through time to 1978 and a safari through parts of Africa where Jo has lived, but I have only dreamed. Jo tells a great story – I laughed, I cried, and I loved this book.

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