Thursday, April 14, 2011

Book #28: The Cry of the Go-Away Bird

With all the challenges, weekly memes and other interesting posts to comment on, the number of actual book reviews I've uploaded has been rather minimal. In fact, you could almost say it's come to a grinding halt. I will admit that I've tried to curb my blogging addiction - time goes by so quickly when you start to write a post, then read someone else's blog, then come across a new one, then tweak your existing pages, update your progress bars.... ah, it's not as if you all don't understand!

But I hereby vow to reinstate my book reviews, and so I begin with The Cry of the Go-Away Bird, by Andrea Eames. I have absolutely no idea whatsoever, how this book ended up on my bookshelf. A friend of mine always writes in her book where she read said novel, but I'm tempted to also add to the inside front cover, a little note of how I came to acquire it, because this one is a mystery to me.

I can say though, that I picked it up off my bookshelf for its cover. Boasting several beautiful shades of oranges, reds, yellows and golds, I thought it would be perfect for the March Cover Love Challenge (Sour mandarin, in other words, orange).

But the cover was just the start of it. The Cry of the Go-Away Bird is set in Zimbabwe - a country I was fortunate enough to visit in 1992 as an impressionable 11-year-old. Set at the time under Mugabe's rule, when white farmers began to be evicted from their land, this story is told from the point of view of Elise, a 12-year-old white girl. She's aware of unrest around her, from her mother, her nanny, the farmworkers and from other children at school - yet, being a child, she's never told the full story.

It's a peaceful book, well, as peaceful as a novel set in this time can be. But by this I mean, there's no real passages of violence, which duly occurred in this country. Instead, it's a gentle story of Elise and her experience, as she watches the effect the changes in her country have on those she loves, as she learns how to deal with situations and read between the lines of what the adults are telling her.

I had no expectations for The Cry of the Go-Away Bird, yet it's one that I wouldn't hesitate to recommend to others. An enjoyable, easy read, it won't necessarily knock your socks off, but it's certainly different


  1. I know exactly what you are talking about as far as spending more time blogging, talking to other bloggers and reading their blogs. I too have fallen behind in my book reviews and need to re-dedicate myself.

    Cry of Go Away Bird has an eye-catching cover and upon seeing it I thought it had to be based in Africa. The colours seem to dictate that. Upon completion of The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith, an interest in literature from Africa has been piqued. Another I really want to read is the story Invictus (the movie) is based on. I need to go back to my other blog, Adventures in a Not So Unusual Life, to see if I have the title there. That would be an excellent read, I'm sure!

  2. haha Ann, it's the blogging curse. And we are all there with you. OMG I WRITE blog posts in my head during runs. Totally word for word. Then I'll go to post it but it's old in my head so I do something new. How bizarre is that.