Barbara Rhine
Barbara Rhine asked:

The reviews said this book took the reader beyond the African experience. Do you agree?

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Lisa I think "the African experience" is too general, really. Kenya is a specific place in a vast continent of many widely varied cultures and histories, and it feels like Westerners too often don't get that. This magnificent book definitely opened my eyes to the specific time and place, peoples and politics of Kenya in the 2000s and the legacy of post-colonial events in the 50s and 60s. That said, I feel like there must be many (too many) stories similar to this throughout post-colonial Africa (the world, even), and I do agree that the extraordinary power of this book is its ability to take us beyond the specific experience it portrays. It certainly—beautifully!—speaks to the universal human yearning for belonging, forgiveness, safety, family, redemption, personal freedom, self-determination — and love. I think that is the beauty and power of successful fiction, and quite possibly its (sadly unrealized!) potential for bridging humanity in a common understanding of what matters.
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