An Elegy for Easterly by Petina Gappah

When I bought this book, I was on a mission. I was looking for something ‘fresh’! The reason for this mission was that every time I picked up a new book, the words ‘best-selling author’ was printed across the top and I could not understand how all these authors could be the best selling one? I mean they all arrived at the bookstore at the same time, or launched within days of one another so how can they all be THE best seller? Still baffles me so I will have to do some research on that one.

But let me get back to ‘An Elegy for Easterly’. The words at the bottom of the page grabbed my attention, ‘A powerful debut….’

Yes, I have got something fresh! Some of the reviews on the back promised a book with humor and with great excitement I bought the book and dashed home.
Soon the excitement faded because I did not find the humor in the book, apart from the one joke about the pearly gates.
I usually rate it as a good book when I catch myself thinking about the book while either sitting in my office doing the day to day stuff or busy shopping, you know the normal boring stuff we have to wade through before we can sit down and get to the fun stuff, like reading. Unfortunately it did not happen for me with this book.

The entire book was quite sad because of all the truths in the book. From the changes in Zimbabwe, to the poverty the people have to live in, to the fear by which they are surrounded.
Maybe this book highlighted everything we want to forget and for this reason it disturbed me more than giving me a sense of enjoyment to read.

Please get this book and read it yourself and if I may quote the short review by the Financial Times on the back cover ‘Fiction rarely reveals the emotional realities behind the latest news headlines. But An Elegy for Easterly does just that….moving and disturbing.’

That is what you can expect from this book.

So did I enjoy it? The jury is still out on that. I will have to read it again and decide but with sadness I have to say no at this point. So why am I sad…….? Because I would love to be a writer one day and have my book published and I don’t know if I will be able to handle the critique from someone like myself!


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