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This review is from: Place of Reeds (Paperback)
"Davies's prose is elegant and spare", "Candid and unsentimental". Two reviewers' expressions quoted in the blurb to this book. Too spare for my liking, too unsentimental, though not so much the prose as the content. (And at times, e.g. around the time of her daughter's birth, far too lengthy.)
A young British white girl, having met her boyfriend in the States, just ups sticks and moves to Botswana with him to live with him in his village. What did her parents and friends think about this? Did she herself not have any doubts about this enormous step? Did she not have any settling in problems? What about her initial impressions of the country (I say as one who has just spent a few weeks in Uganda, my first visit to Africa, and indeed the reason I bought this book)? She is happy enough to give her feelings and impressions about her first return to London thereafter.There is virtually nothing of her first year in Africa other than some factual description of her getting a teaching post in advance and some details about induction. No feeling, no thoughts.
Throughout the book, (though it does improve as it goes on, perhaps because nearer the time of writing) she leaves many unanswered questions, leaves cliffhangers at the ends of chapters, without answering them in the next chapter which may be set many months on. This spoiled for me what is a fascinating and upsetting tale. Perhaps it was written as therapy. As we know, such books are sometimes left unpublished.