Dodging Africa parallels the experiences and transformation of Willa and Nora Dodge, two sisters raised apart, one in Africa, the other Boston. The novel shifts rapidly, and sometimes shockingly, between the sisters' lives and cultures, both who seek self-knowledge and healing through the family relationships that have eluded and shaped their lives.Amid the rapid cultural change of the late 1960s, the sisters' journeys - from Africa to Boston to Haight-Ashbury and the Oregon coast - intersect with strong but troubled men also searching for redemption in the aftermath of family abuse and the Viet Nam war. A loving support system from her wise and sometimes mysterious African family in Botswana helps Willa thrive under her brilliant but detached surgeon-mother; while Nora holds tight to her maternal anger, pushing her on a path as different from her upbringing as she could find, and away from a surgeon-father who can only offer a remote love.Willa and Nora's journey through young womanhood - against the backdrop of culturally disruptive music, drug experimentation, and sexual experiences - is a 20th century family saga that crosses continents and cultures, ending up in places that many readers have never experienced.Now available on Amazon.com
Thought this book would take me a week or so to read, but once I got started, I couldn’t stop! I HAD to see how it ended! I also really appreciated how even though the sisters were in very different places, there were similarities. Please write more books!!!!!
Reading the first book for any author can be exciting or it can be a disappointment. I found this to be both. it is one of the best books I have read . . . and I have read a lot. it totally captured me and I couldn't put it down. it made me laugh and cry. I loved the depth of intelligence, cultural respect and strong women it portrays. And the crossing of two so different places, Botswana and '60s USA. Absolutely worth reading!
My disappointment comes in when I don't have another to read. please write more!
A super good coming of age book in Africa and the U.S. during the late sixty's hippie protest era of the Vietnam War in the U.S. and the 4th Peace Corps group out in Botswana, Africa. Two sisters, separated in mid-childhood life by the estrangement of their parents, grow up in very different cultures on separate continents and face the challenges of late adolescent development. The questions to be resolved abound in this book and are dealt with by author D. Lou Raymond directly, but with cultural sensitivity and understanding that can only be found in those who have walked in the shoes of that period. They are the universal questions for all persons at some point in their lives and are excellent ones to be discussed by book groups, senior high school classes, and university level courses including: Do I love or hate my mother/stepmother/father? Do I go off to college and pursue the direction my parents and interests have selected for me in life, or, do I rebel, and run away, to a drug experimenting flower culture? How can I fit my multicultural experiences of African life and native medicine into my interests in pursuing modern medicine in an upper middle class white community? Do I explore premarital sex and learn the consequences in the the school of hard knocks? Those of us who are products of the era will love the back and forth discussions, displays of emotion and decisions made by the two protagonists, Willa and Nora as they wend their way through the journey of life. An excellent multicultural book. Enjoy!