Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Patchwork” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  48 ratings  ·  9 reviews
Winner of the Penguin Prize for African Writing 2010 (fiction). Destined from birth to inhabit two very different worlds - that of her father, the wealthy Joseph Sakavungo, and that of her mother, his mistress - this emotive tale takes us to the heart of a young girl's attempts to come to terms with her own identity and fashion a future for herself from the patchwork of th ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published August 31st 2011 by Penguin (first published January 1st 2011)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Patchwork, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Patchwork

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 147)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship
This little book is excellent, but don’t be fooled by the brief page count; it takes more time than you might expect.

Pumpkin is a 9-year-old girl growing up between two households, competing for her father’s attention, dealing with her mother’s alcoholism and her stepmother’s disregard. And because she’s growing up in Zambia in the 1970s, there’s some violence from across the border as well. Then, flash forward to her as a grown woman: she thinks she’s made peace with her parents, but the scars
Her Royal Orangeness
Set in Zambia, “Patchwork” tells the poignant story of Pumpkin, a bastard child who grows up to become an emotionally tormented woman. The novel opens in the 1970s when Pumpkin is a 9-year-old girl. Her father is a wealthy businessman with a family of his own; her mother is an alcoholic who believes that someday Pumpkin’s father will marry her. Because of her mother’s drinking problem, her father eventually takes Pumpkin to live with his family, a decision that his wife does not handle well.

Julia Grundling
this was a quick read - it could have been longer. ;) i'm used to thick books. i really enjoyed the story and it was one of those books that i found hard to put down. i love reading about other cultures and what makes people tick. i love the name of the book - as it clearly comes through in the story.

there were quite a few mistakes in the book, which wasn't cool, but at least i enjoyed the story. not a prize awarding book, but all in all worth reading.
I read a book called Poppadom Preach at around about the same time as I read this novel, Patchwork, by Ellen Banda-Aaku. They're both very similar; first person narrations by neglected children suffering at the hands of their parents. However, where Poppadom Preach uses a heavy dose of black humour to illuminate the story, Patchwork follows a much more traditional path. In other words, you'll be filing this under Heavy Going.

Set in Zambia in the 1970s - 80s, 9 year old Pumpkin is an unwilling ac
Nina Chachu
This is the author's first adult novel, though she has written several short stories and poems - for both children and adults. The first part has nine-year old Pumpkin (as she is known) by everyone as the main character; in the second part she is a mother herself. To me the first part works; the second not so well. Maybe it is because the mis-perceptions of a child are easier to accept than those of an adult.
Maria Ekpo
This book started as an interesting expose into the mind of a young, emotionally complex girl born from an affair between a desperate, damaged alcoholic and a rich, selfish womanizer. However the story began brushing over critical plot lines and ended in a puzzling manner. I was rather unimpressed and disappointed in the book.
Loyiwe sikazwe
this book I really liked. very close to home- zambia
This book is well written and gives a good picture of life in Zambia across social classes. The story is not an uplifting one, none of the characters are at all likeable and the author doesn't resolve the dilemmas by the end of the book.
So why did I read it (apart from just because I wanted a book from Zambia for my World Tour)?
Because it really is good, a page-turner, just not one to make you laugh.
Kim Brown
I enjoyed this book. Seldom do you read about the African middle class and their experiences. It reminded me of Tayari Jones' Silver Sparrow. Similar story, different continent.
Peggy marked it as to-read
Jun 30, 2015
Kelsey marked it as to-read
Jun 12, 2015
Joe marked it as to-read
Jun 12, 2015
Alan marked it as to-read
May 15, 2015
Mina added it
Apr 08, 2015
Priyal marked it as to-read
Apr 08, 2015
Elaine Shenk
Elaine Shenk marked it as to-read
Mar 23, 2015
Philippa Kabali-Kagwa
Philippa Kabali-Kagwa marked it as to-read
Mar 19, 2015
Taryn marked it as to-read
Mar 14, 2015
Melanie marked it as to-read
Feb 16, 2015
Cj marked it as to-read
Feb 14, 2015
Julia marked it as to-read
Feb 09, 2015
Shoshana marked it as to-read
Jan 20, 2015
AlinQ marked it as to-read
Jan 16, 2015
Melody Schreiber
Melody Schreiber marked it as to-read
Jan 13, 2015
Chandler Rae Frances
Chandler Rae Frances marked it as to-read
Jan 10, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Ellen Banda-Aaku was born in Woking Surrey in 1965. The middle child of three she grew up in Zambia and has lived and worked in Ghana, South Africa, the UK and Zambia.

In 2004 she won the Macmillan Writers’ Prize for Africa for Wandi’s Little Voice, a book for children. In 2007, her short story, Sozi’s Box, was the overall winner of the 2007 Commonwealth Short Story Competition. Her novel "Patchwo
More about Ellen Banda-Aaku...
Twelve Months The Bed Book of Short Stories Summoning the Rains. Third Femrite Regional Residency for African Women Writers A Fly Girl: Travel Tales of an Exotic British Airways Cabin Crew

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »