I have never felt so connected to an author after finishing a book. At every turn of the page, you can feel yourself getting closer to the author. By the end, you almost know how he is going to react before you read it.
Peter Godwin deserves a lot of credit for making the reader feel so engrossed and invested in his book, while at the same time describing the many challenges that Zimbabwe is facing after independence. When the author discovers his older sister’s grave vandalized and defecated upon, you feel his anger as he is walking towards the warden’s office. I wept with the author, when after his Dad died, he discovered a box full of all his articles he had written. His father never gave him much credit for being a journalist, yet secretly kept all of his work. I truly did not expect this level of attachment when I started this book. The author does a phenomenal job describing how the country changed after independence, not a sudden jolting change, but a slow change that happened before your eyes without realizing until it’s too late.
The book is filled with first-person testimony of corruption, land seizure, inflation, and how the violence quickly spirals out of control and engulfs the entire country in madness. But the most surprising part of the story, was when the author discovered that his father had hid is Polish-Jewish ancestry his entire life. His father was born in Poland and was raised Jewish, luckily, he was able to move to England before the Nazis invaded. Unfortunately, the rest of his family was not so lucky, and tragically died in the concentration camps. The author decided to hide his Jewish and Polish ancestry, married an Englishwoman and then immigrated to Rhodesia (present-day Zimbabwe) after WWII.
It’s always funny what you will discover when you pick up a book. Before reading this, I thought this was a book focused on the history of Zimbabwe after independence. I never knew this was a story about a white Zimbabwean who discovers his Jewish ancestry while struggling to help his parents survive in a country suffering from corruption and hyper-inflation. But that is the power of books, you can never judge them by their cover. I encourage anyone who wants to expand their horizons and maybe see the world through someone else’s eyes to read this book.— From Cultures