I mentioned in my May Roundup blog post that I’d managed to breeze through two books whilst I was on holiday. Is there anything better than sitting in the sun with the sound of waves and a good book? That question was rhetorical; of course there isn’t!
I received The Book of Memory from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. It’s set in Zimbabwe and is told from Memory’s perspective, an albino inmate who is in prison for killing a white man. The author has a way of showing the confusion and isolation of Memory’s childhood – in a place where race is still extremely important, a black girl who looks white at first glance is sure to struggle fitting in anywhere.
Despite her situation, Memory doesn’t wallow or look for pity. Instead, she gives an honest account of life inside the prison, including her relationships with other inmates and the guards. In the jail, it’s tough going, but it’s not without hope, and the same can be said for the book as a whole. The majority of Memory’s life is tinged with sadness, but her eloquence and intelligence shine through and fill you with an optimism for her future.
The author, Petina Gappah, is definitely someone I will be keeping an eye on in the future, and I’d recommend this book for anyone looking for a story that deals with a lot of issues well within a relatively short space of time.
The Book of Memory is out on 2nd June.