1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 November 2013
I chose this as a book to take on a holiday in Africa. I wasn't moving around Ethiopia as the author does, but still, it was the perfect travelling companion, especially for somebody who doesn't know the continent well at all. The author clearly loves Africa - but she's not misty-eyed about it. The project which provides a structure for the book is the collection of traditional stories which are eventually published as reading books for Ethiopian children - it's hard work, involves tortuous travel plans and challenging accommodation solutions, and there are some hilarious episodes, alongside more troubling experiences. Laird is honest about her reservations and frustrations (and includes touching moments when she yearns for home), but through her compelling mix of autobiography, political and social history, and travelogue she illuminates people and place with sensitivity and humour. She clearly loves it all.
on 7 May 2014
Others have provided a very good synopsis of the book which I read after returning from a recent trip to Ethiopia. Although the story is set in a much earlier period of time, such is the progress in Ethiopia that there were still many memories that this brought back and I found myself chuckling at some of the descriptions, feeling for the author during her more uncomfortable moments and recognising many of the places we visited, characteristics of the people, descriptions of places and the senses, and some of the hotels we stayed in. A very honest book that provides a good insight into Ethiopia and its people.