Reading Mauritius: The Last Brother

This is such a good book. I love it, without reservations.

If you’ve been following this blog, you already know I don’t do full reviews. I’m not going to tell you much about what happens, or offer critiques from a literary standpoint…none of that. Those restrictions make for some awkward going sometimes, but it’s the only fair way to log this journey and share what I’ve learned, while at the same time giving you all the freedom to uncover these books in your own way.

So, I’ll keep this brief, even though I could ramble on for hours…the author, Nathacha Appanah, has managed to put into words all of the intensity and ferocity of love, and of loss. It was so recognizable and yet so often unseen, it took my breath away.

It’s that good. That’s all I’m going to say.

You’ll also learn some really interesting, not-talked-about-much history, but that’s for you to find out…

Sugar Cane Near Long Mountain
Sugar Cane Near Long Mountain (image by Simisa, via Wikimedia Commons)

Country #54: Mauritius

Mauritius: it feels really far away from where I sit. I know a little, but not much. Looking forward to learning.

Reading Uganda: Tropical Fish, Tales from Entebbe

The book I chose for Uganda was Tropical Fish, Tales from Entebbe by Doreen Baingana.

Such a good book! Well-written, great characters, a super solid sense of place; it’s everything you hope to find in a work of fiction, but so often don’t. I really enjoyed it, and highly recommend it.

The story is told through the viewpoints of three sisters. Their experiences of the world are all very different, but one common thread is that they are growing up during a time of conflict, doing the best they can to bring some normalcy to chaos. The setting is during Adi Amin’s rule, but the crazy-making by the people “in charge” could apply to anywhere, anytime.

Like now, for instance.

“The change was gradual and the result normal, like many other thing’s about Amin’s time, including the every day fear in the air. She remembered how everyone had laughed in astonishment then got used to it…
Everyone adjusted to the upside-down week, the upside down life, including other unbelievable and ugly things she didn’t want to think about. The bad smell had become familiar.”

Mount Khadam, Uganda
Mount Khadam, Uganda
(Image by Eright via Wikimedia Commons

Country #42: Uganda

 

On to my 42nd country, which is Uganda.
I tend to get a little obsessed with West Africa, so a stop in the East is most welcome. I look forward to my time here!