Krutika Puranik's Reviews > An Act of Defiance

An Act of Defiance by Irene Sabatini
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An Act Of Defiance.
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Thank you for the copy @theindigopress
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It's tough to build a book that revolves around political parties and events but Irene does it quite masterfully. This book in some ways, reminded me a lot of Half of the yellow sun by Chimamanda. The writing is strikingly similar to that of the iconic author and considering how the story takes place during the political upheaval, they bare a strong resemblance. This novel is my first time reading about Zimbabwe and I was both fascinated and appalled by the happenings in the country.
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This story is about thousands of people who were displaced during the time of Robert Mugabe's rule in the 2000s. His youth party raped, killed and lynched countless people who chose democracy. Mugabe ruled for four decades and single-handedly held power for all those years. He was considered one of the most controversial politician of all times. Gabrielle is a young lawyer who lives in Harare in 2000. As she finds herself fighting for justice of a young girl who was raped by an older powerful man, she witnesses the unlawful side of the court. At the same moment she meets Ben, a junior diplomat working for American embassy. Their chemistry is undeniable and through one of the many dates, they fall in love.
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When Ben is attacked and Gabrielle is taken away during one of their dates by the youth party, they lose touch for many years to come. Gabrielle is raped and is held captive for many days which changes her very personality. After she's rescued by her ex-boyfriend Giorgio, she's taken under his care and soon finds herself pregnant. Throughout her recovery, she feels disconnected to her surroundings and craves for Ben. Years later, when they reunite, they realise that their feelings haven't changed at all. What follows next is her journey of finding herself and struggling to keep up with the people around her. The political distortion that took place during those years have been narrated in detail. It's horrifying to say the least.
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To be honest, I never liked Gabrielle's character. Her profound confusion about her feelings and inability to take a decision made me irritable. It was the male characters that I truly admired. Their resilience and ability to look after Gabrielle was truly touching to see. The ending was quite satisfactory and that was all that I could have asked for. Though parts of this book might be fiction, the information about Zimbabwe is an eye opener. I recommend it.
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Rating - 3.8/5.
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Reading Progress

October 10, 2019 – Started Reading
October 10, 2019 – Shelved
October 11, 2019 – Finished Reading

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