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Adé: A Love Story

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  716 ratings  ·  119 reviews
In this stunning debut novella, Rebecca Walker turns her attention to the power of love and the limitations of the human heart. When Farida, a sophisticated college student, falls in love with Adé, a young Swahili man living on an idyllic island off the coast of Kenya, the two plan to marry and envision a simple life together—free of worldly possessions and concerns. But w ...more
Hardcover, 112 pages
Published October 29th 2013 by New Harvest
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Average rating 3.68  · 
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 ·  716 ratings  ·  119 reviews

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Oct 27, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: african-american
“Again, I felt a sense of belonging- the slow, irrational dissolution of the self I had known, and another core truth of being emerging in concert with the landscape.” - Rebecca Walker, Ade

A mixed race American girl (probably Rebecca Walker herself) takes a year off from university to travel around Africa with her best friend. While in Africa, the friends go through very different transformations. When the unnamed narrator goes to an island off the coast of Kenya, she falls in love with an Afri
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
She is nineteen, half black, daughter to successful but divorced parents. At Yale University she meets Miriam, a vivacious, confident twenty-one-year-old woman who, with her forceful, lively nature, takes her younger friend under her wing and introduces her to the wider world - both at home and abroad. Together, they take a year off and travel, thanks to their moneyed parents. In Africa, she begins to feel a sense of homecoming, no longer standing out with her copper colouring but "one in a grea ...more
Oct 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: culture
Disclaimer: I have lots of bias for this book.

I'm a sucker for culture. I'm a sucker for immediate, unquestionable love. Particularly when it is met with heartache.

But mostly I'm biased because this book was the soundbooktrack to my engagement.

My then-boyfriend and I had pulled over mid-way through a road trip to stretch our legs along the California coast. I specifically brought Adé with me so that I could photograph the cover against the horizon – I am obsessed with this cover! – On the way I
Nov 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Magical. Lyrical. Haunting. Those are the three words that came to mind from the first page of my copy of Rebecca Walker’s amazing novel Ade’, a Love Story, and by the time I was just a few more pages into the story, I was already swept into the tide of Farida’s life – from college student to world traveler to lover, to, finally, just WOMAN, she seemed as real to me as many of my own friends. I could see her in my minds eye, asking local people in various desert countries to help her broaden her ...more
Nov 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think this book is probably the best novel I've read this year, behind 'The Street' by Ann Petry. The fluidity of the story, along with the lush descriptions of Africa literally MOVED me. I am not a reader of love stories, I find them to be typical and corny; yet this book was way more than a love story. I felt it was a kindred exchange by happenstance of two people who merely belonged. So worth the purchase. Will definitely read again. I now anticipate all the works of Rebecca Walker.
Feb 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: tears

I finished this book the day I got it out of my mailbox. I have no words to describe how I felt after finishing it. I guess you could say I was in awe or shock. of course the tears came in the last pages of the book, but the last two paragraphs I was bawling. I personally have never been so moved by a book in my life, and I have a feeling this book will never leave my mind or memory. I've cried over books twice before but that was because someone was dying never had I bawled l
Aug 18, 2015 rated it it was ok
Well written, but annoying. It romanticized an unconvincing relationship between a privileged American Yale graduate and a Kenyan, without ever looking at the implications of the decision to marry a man who had never even been to his capital city or ridden an elevator, while she grew up between San Francisco and Manhattan (and as the daughter of Alice Walker, although it is a novel rather than a memoir). She is half Jewish and seems to blithely agree to wearing head coverings, and doesn't seem t ...more
Catherine King
Sep 28, 2014 rated it did not like it
An incredibly silly book that took itself way too seriously. A frustrating narrator, blissfully un-self-aware, romanticizes the third world, with an author eager to indulge her.

There's the narrator's slapdash friendship with a girlfriend from college (which is dripping with biphobia -- the narrator and her friend are briefly lovers, but purely for the sake of riling up straight men around them, and later they end the romance to get to "the meat of things -- men," because, you know, no one is ev
Aug 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: jan-14
Adé is a coming of age love story. It captured me from the first page and I didn't put it down until I was finished.
Wonderfully written Rebecca Walker creates a captivating portrait of a young American woman who travels abroad to Africa and finds love with a Swahili Muslim man. There they create their own paradise, plan to marry and are then faced with the unsettling and often violent realities of life just as the Persian Gulf war begins.
This is an extraordinary love story and tale of survival
Nicole Summer
Nov 11, 2013 rated it it was ok
Did not like it. I still love Rebecca, but I was disappointed that she borrowed so many details from her personal life for this book. It was way too obvious to anyone who has read her memoir.

Also, it's too short to call itself a novel.
Rianna Jade
Nov 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Rebecca's words are seductive and whilst I didn't particularly want to read a love story, I danced with her for a 111 pages then sat down completely satisfied.

Do you remember, mpenzi?
Johanna Markson
Adé, Rebecca Walker
A love story in novella form about a biracial half African American half Jewish collage graduate who falls in love with a Swahili man.
The unnamed woman is traveling around Africa with her best friend when she encounters the man of her dreams on a small island off the coast of Kenya and decides to leave the first world behind. The couple’s connection is quick, intense and their love deep, but their affair is cut short when she contracts a terrible case of malaria and must fly b
Nov 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Exquisite! One of the most beautiful love stories I've ever read, and among the top five I've read this year. The prose is lyrical, the story painfully real and timely. It speaks to our human predilection for idealizing and romanticizing and stereotyping ... glossing over the real and specific. I have grown increasingly troubled by my own tendency, through ignorance, to refer to anything from the continent of Africa as African, as if it were some monolithic place, a giant country, rather than fi ...more
David Schwarm
Jun 08, 2020 rated it liked it
This is a weird combination hipster fashion novel meets love story meets some weird virtue signaling..or something...

I am not sure I got it or get it or something...In fact, I am not sure I understand this work at all--I mean it clearly violates the show don't tell rule; but, more importantly, it reads like a novel by your favorite grad student. You know that one that TA'd the Big Intro to Literature class...something just feels off about this work--written in committee at some level, too short,
Jun 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is very short, but I hardly noticed because there is so much story packed into the few pages that are offered. It is not the overly dramatic love story that I am use to, but it is bright, vivid and beautifully real. I am looking forward to whatever else Rebecca Walker has to offer.
Aeisha V. Jones
Nov 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Incredible tale of love fantasy, hot afternoons, cool night strolls, ocean waves. Then the reality of cultural and history eroding a future.
A relationship we all remember in our dreams henceforth
Carmon Camp
Jun 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
It is awesome to read a piece by a true writer whose love for words is evident by my transportation to the setting of the book.
Jocelyn Jenee
Jul 10, 2017 rated it really liked it

Not sure how I feel about the book overall. I enjoyed the beginning and end most. A quick and easy read.
May 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Beautifully written, but overall I couldn't connect with any of the characters.
Aug 02, 2018 rated it liked it
QUick read, captured the feeling of youth discovering indentity.
Shalina H
Nov 19, 2018 rated it liked it
It felt real. That is good.
Aug 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
There's a lot packed into this short little novel. I do wish it had been a tad longer though because the ending felt a too easy and unfinished.
Mar 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
years later & it's still my favorite story of love and loss. ...more
Mar 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
(Fiction, Contemporary, Literary)

This is subtitled a “love story” but this is no romance novel. An American (or was she a Brit? It doesn’t matter really) falls in love with a native Swahili man while in Kenya. When an epidemic breaks out, they attempt to flee to the first world.

Adé is a love story in the tradition of Romeo and Juliet. Haunting and heart-breaking, it deserves to be a classic of 21st century literature. I have not been as touched by a book in a long time as I was by Adé.

I’m not sa
Mar 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I just finished reading this book and had to sit down and right this review right now.
Again I have to say..."Where do you start when you read a beautiful book?"
One. You should read this book. There is not enough hype going on about Rebecca Walkers book Adé. It is the pure meaning of short and sweet. Ok let me start and the beginning.
I received a box full of copies of this book from TLC book tours as a gift to Mocha Girls Read book club members for our 2nd Anniversary last year. Yes, it has be
Feb 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
Stunningly beautiful prose. The depth of Ms. Walkers writing is stunning.
Nov 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A book about love that is planted between cultures and times

This is a remarkable book about a copper colored American girl who goes on a trip to Africa with a friend. Her mother had taken a long trip to Africa that defined her when she was a girl, so she encourages her daughter to go too--to experience it, not to just visit. And our American girl is renamed by a man she meets, Ade, Farida there in Kenya. And in fact, she is reborn and she is changed by her stay in Africa. She falls in love and f
Sep 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Originally posted on my blog, A Lovely Bookshelf on the Wall:

THIS BOOK WAS AMAZING! I kid you not, my heart skips a beat whenever I think about this book. It was that good.

I was surprised by two things. First, Rebecca Walker's writing is very descriptive in a wordy kind of way, something I normally do not enjoy at all. But the style here was simply magnificent. I soaked in every word. Second, it's a love story. This is something I normally avoid. But this novel wasn't a vapid, silly love story.
Kathleen Hagen
Ade (pronounced Aday),, by Rebecca Walker, Narrated by Janina Edwards, Produced by Brilliance Audio, downloaded from

While this is a novel, it is clear that the family background of Farida follows pretty closely the autobiographical background of Rebecca Walker, Alice Walker’s daughter. In this novel, Farida, and a friend of hers, Miriam, decide to spend a year in Africa. Miriam’s idea is to do a tour of all the countries not staying anywhere very long. But Farida finds, when they ge
Anne Ku
Jun 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
When Rebecca Walker read an excerpt from her new novel "Ade: A Love Story" last October (2013) in the home of my writing teacher in Wailuku, I felt as though I was reliving my own experience on that island of Lamu. No one else in the room had been there. None of my classmates from our summer writing course could have experienced what it was like to go to this African island, knowing no one and where to go.

I decided I had to get the book and read it. I brought it with me on my three-month sojourn
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