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Children of the Moon

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  160 ratings  ·  30 reviews
From celebrated author Anthony De Sa comes a raw and compelling novel of love, war and the heartbreaking effects of memory.

"'You must listen to my words. You must promise to tell my story the way I have shared it with you.'"

Tanzania, 1956. A Maasai woman gives birth to a child with albinism. The child is seen as a curse upon her tribe, and so begins Pó's tumultuous sto
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published May 7th 2019 by Doubleday Canada
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Average rating 3.60  · 
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Apr 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, arc, can-con, africa
“What is it you want from me?” I ask out loud, and like a match striking its strip, I think I have an answer. The recordings and the transcripts I have made of Pó are an intimate invitation to experience this world through her recollections. Unencumbered. Raw. The question What for? comes back at me. I flick my cigarette over the balcony, orange ember spinning. I don't know how this story will end. But I know how it began. I press my pencil to paper, write They are called children of the moon.

Jan 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book is a major step forward for Anthony De Sa. His earlier novels are very good, but in Children of the Moon De Sa moves into a more in depth, detailed, and intricately written novel. Shifting in time, location and character the novel covers a wide spectrum of a very distressing time in Portuguese history.

There are three major characters in this novel, all of whom near an albatross around their necks. Serafim is a journalist who must live with the fact of how his earlier writings revealed
David Rocha
May 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
I've read all of De Sa's books and I have to say that this one definitely evoked a lot of emotion. At times I did feel like the book was a little tricky to follow; with the multiple timelines and streams of consciousness. However, the subject matter was enticing, the characters felt real; some of them shockingly so.

I too had uncles who served in the wars for independence. Some of the things that people have done to each other, what we continue to do, all in the name of war, justice, Liberty? Sa
Children of the Moon is quiet yet compelling. It is also lovely and at the same time fierce and shattering. A 4 1/2 star read for me.

Some might categorize the book as historical fiction due to its historical subject matter (information that was new and interesting to me). However, the book “felt” much more like a novel of contemporary fiction. The writing was succinct, descriptive and wonderful. In addition, it is a story about so many things that are still happening today - told from the perspe
Steven Langdon
Jul 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have read several previous books by De Sa, and found them of mixed quality. This powerful novel, however, is excellent.

Based mostly in Mozambique and Tanzania, it is a penetrating story of Po, born an albino African, and her troubled life in the face of hunters of body parts cut from people like her, since these are supposed to overcome illness or other afflictions. Arranged as interviews with a Brazilian journalist, Po recounts her childhood, how she had eventually to flee into exile from her
Feb 02, 2020 rated it liked it
I’ve enjoyed getting to know different cultures through strong characters. Unfortunately I got mixed up at some point between scenes as it’s not that evident. I also found the story very slow.
They asked if I had any questions but they didn't answer them. 21

The children of the moon are the Africans with albinism who suffer rather more than one might imagine for their genetic heritage. This novel grew out of author interviews with people on location, the People with albinism, the people fighting for their right to decent and safe accomodation; and the veterans and civilian survivors of the local wars. Darting between time and space, weaving story within story, not in an elegant tapest
Aug 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this novel and I had the privilege of hearing the author speak at a book club in Toronto about it prior to my reading it.
It is a deeply moving story about the tragedy and horror of three separate lives; including one with Albinism whom has endured the wrath and fear of her tribes beliefs in the curse she bears and can inflict upon them.
A tender love story and what I found most compelling is the as yet, untold story (hint, hint, Anthony) of the narrators childhood in Brazil - this is like
Aug 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Hauntingly beautiful may be a cliché, but in this case is true. Desperate life circumstances circumscribed by and injected with love.
The author has a way of getting inside the characters, that makes the reader feel like we are them.
Amanda Cox
Apr 26, 2020 rated it liked it
I'm not sure how I feel about this book. Definitely an important topic that delves into the cultural understanding of albinism and the history I'm the part of the world. A bit confusing to understand exactly what happened to the characters, even in the end. Very sad topics and not many moments of happiness in between. Well written but depressing. ...more
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
The story of Po, a Tanzanian with albino captured my attention. And Ezekial’s story was interesting but his present day life in Toronto lacked real depth. The connection between the past and present was not clear. And I didn’t find real purpose with the character of Serafin, as Po’s narrator? There was a lot of disconnect in the novel that made it feel unfinished and unedited.
Brandon Douglas
Jun 06, 2019 rated it it was ok
Interesting story, but it felt incomplete. Ezequiel’s narration was masterfully written, though. His shift to and from lucidity is fascinating.
Enid Wray
Jul 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Children of the Moon is a compassionate exploration of the horrors of war… and the vagaries of memory. Told with restraint, DeSa brings together three perspectives - three vantage points - to explore the impact of colonialism, racism, love and war. The novel asks some pretty big questions: What is truth? Is truth absolute? What is the value of (a) life? Who gets to tell the story?

This story, while seemingly very different from his earlier work, still mines the ‘Portuguese’ experience, and still
Neelam Babul
Jun 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the first book written by Anthony De Sa that I read. The story evoked a lot of emotions within me. The story was enticing and touching. Being a resident of Tanzania, I was aware of the intensity of the horrific beliefs that individuals harbored about Albinism and how people suffering from Albinism were targeted and preyed on. Traditional healers departed wrong beliefs and ideologies that organs from Albinos could be used to gain power and wealth creating widespread terror and chaos.

At s
Cindy Watson
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Anthony De Sa never disappoints! His writing is lush and rich and he never shies away from difficult themes or issues. He's able to touch on challenging issues without ever being didactic or preaching as we get lost in the power of his story and craft. Children of the Moon is no exception. Anthony tackles numerous delicate subjects in a seamless story. At first blush it seems like a simple read, with its sparse style (a new style for De Sa) but on reflection you start to recognize the deceptive ...more
Jan 19, 2021 rated it really liked it
This is a beautifully written novel which was better than I expected it to be. It covers the lives of two people, Po and Ezequiel, from Tanzania and Mozambique, who have lived their lives on the edge of society being an albino and of mixed race, respectively. This is ultimately a battle between good and evil as the two are caught up in civil war. There is violence in the novel, but also some tender scenes captured by the author in a loving way. Recommended.
Apr 01, 2020 added it
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Apr 25, 2020 rated it liked it
Reads like journalism, but still has some good elements. The characters seem to represent types, and the storytelling technique (it's mostly memory and recounting to a journalist) gives a feeling of distance between the reader and the characters and events in the story. Still interesting if you want to know more about Mozambique and Tanzania. ...more
Diane B
Dec 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: canlit, heliconian
Extremely well crafted, from the way characters are built to the arc of story telling.

An Albino African native, a mulatto Portuguese soldier, and a (presumably) white journalist are the main characters. One telling the story with a conventional narrative; the other heaving a jumble of moments past and present; the other capturing fragments for a story.

A sad tale that rings too true.
Feb 20, 2021 rated it liked it
This book had so much potential to be incredible and it just fell short. It’s only 237 pages, and it shifts between 3 different character’s perspectives throughout different periods of time. It just needed more detail.
Dec 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shocked, heartbroken, indignant, inspired, love, hate, compassion, vengeance, pity, abhorrence... just some of the many emotions this book induced. Like nothing I’ve ever read before. One of a kind and completely unforgettable. 4.5 stars.
Diana C
Oct 13, 2019 rated it it was ok
Barbara Bissonette
Sep 01, 2019 rated it liked it
I loved this book. I could scarcely put it down. Very poignant and thought provoking.
Donna Flemming
Feb 02, 2021 rated it really liked it
A beautifully descriptive story, but a disturbing subject matter.
Becca Travis
Jun 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Occasionally hard to follow plot, with multiple people, timelines, etc, but a great book that definitely stirs up some emotions!
Oct 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
Kathleen Moors
Jul 10, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Just writing my review this evening.
Linda Cousens
Jul 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Heartbreaking story of Maasai woman born an albino and children of war in Mozambique.
Izabel C
Dec 26, 2020 rated it did not like it
I almost feel bad rating this so low after reading some other comments! Maybe I just didn't "get it". I did not enjoy it. I am not much of a fiction reader typically, but I just didn't enjoy this. ...more
Jun 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
True rating - 4.5 stars
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