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The White Shadow

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  56 ratings  ·  13 reviews
'Look after your sister, Tinashe.'

Tinashe is a young Shona boy living in a small village in rural Rhodesia. The guerilla war of the late 1960s haunts the bushlands, but it only infrequently affects his quiet life; school, swimming in the river, playing with the other kids on the kopje.

When his younger sister, Hazvinei, is born, Tinashe knows at once
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Paperback, 304 pages
Published February 2nd 2012 by Harvill Secker
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Average rating 3.71  · 
Rating details
 ·  56 ratings  ·  13 reviews


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Margaret Bamford
May 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the contrast between the village and the large town and the village ideas that spilled over into the town. This was a sad novel and I was a bit disappointed with the ending as it left you to form your own future for the main character.
Stefanie
Jul 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I was utterly taken by this book. Eames' story telling pulled me in, and I just kept turning the pages. It's gritty in places, very sad throughout and yet includes a compellingly strong spirit. The tale is set during Zimbabwe's Second Chimurenga, also known as the Rhodesian Bush War or the Zimbabwe Liberation War (1966-1979), and weaves together the everyday and extraordinary of civil war. The tensions between urban and rural, wealthy and poor, male and female and traditional versus contemporary ...more
CuteBadger
Feb 23, 2015 rated it liked it
I bought this book for £1 in a discount shop and as a result didn't really expect much, but found myself enjoying it. I haven't read many books set it Africa so it was good to move outside my comfort zone with something different.

I enjoyed the close connections of the characters to nature and was interested in the roles of men and women in society, as well as in the political elements of the plot. The main characters Timashe and his sister Hazvinei are well-drawn and realistic, so th
...more
Tami Egonu
Apr 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An exceptionally vivid and beautifully written book. Another great recommendation from a friend.
Stephen Hayes
Mar 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
I suppose the best way to describe the genre of this novel is a Bildungsroman, set in the time of Zimbabwe's Second Chimurenga, forty years ago. Was it as long ago as that? And the author wasn't even born then.

Tinashe is a young Shona boy who grows up in a rural village, ocasionally visited by his rich uncle from the city and his cousin. He dreams of going to school and university, like his uncle, but his cousin doesn't seem to value these things. Tinashe's younger sister, Hazvinei, is strange,
...more
Sarah Hackley
Nov 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
This book sat on my shelf, unread, for far too long. Once I opened it, however, I couldn't put it down. Eames paints a unique and unsettling picture of political, spiritual, and domestic upheaval told through the quiet but compelling voice of a young boy. Tinashe's narrative pulled me through the book, pushing me to care about these children born into a time and culture utterly unfamiliar to me. The dialogue is perfect, the description subtly precise and beautifully portrayed. This is a book I w ...more
Aaron
Apr 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
A well crafted read with good tension. As the reader follows Tinashe along his quest to protect his younger sister Hazvinei, the narrative constricts tighter and tighter, until suddenly they, like he, are focused solely on her powerful, dark presence and what misfortune it might bring upon the boy and the world around him.
Amy Paulussen
Mar 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A fascinating glimpse into a fascinating bit of Zimbabwean history, told through the eyes of a child, but by no means a children's story. Eames writes from this unique and rarely-heard perspective, and explores so many fundamentally universal social and cultural issues around gender and spirituality and ideas around wealth and power, all in a gritty story about growing up.
Clare Green
Oct 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was an unexpected choice, as I haven't read many books set in Africa, let alone in Rhodesia, but it was a good one. I found the narrator, Tinashe, strongly sympathetic: all through the story, he tries to do his best by his challenging family members. Poor boy: I was relieved by the tentative note of hope for him at the end of the book.
Armen
Mar 06, 2012 rated it liked it
The novel is set in Zimbabwe and is told from the point of view of a young black boy named Tinashe.
It's "freedom fighters" versus white people and is about colonization.
I am moved by the story and author's writing style.
Kelly Dombroski
Dec 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
A book to get totally lost and absorbed in. More fab YA fiction from Andrea.
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Andrea Eames was born in 1985. She was brought up in Zimbabwe, where she attended a Jewish school for six years, a Hindu school for one, a Catholic convent school for two and a half, and then the American International School in Harare for two years. Andrea's family moved to New Zealand in 2002. Andrea has worked as a bookseller and editor and now lives in Austin, Texas with her husband.