3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Dust, Dirt and Dignity,
This review is from: A Cowrie of Hope (Paperback)"A Cowrie of Hope" is the story of Belita Bowa, known as Nasula (mother of Sula). Nasula is a poor, illiterate widow, raising her daughter alone in 1990s rural Zambia. Her husband's death left her nothing but a mean and jealous extended family, so she has brought up her child without anyone's help. As the novel opens, Nasula is facing her greatest test; to raise the 100,000 kwacha needed to send her daughter to the Secondary school she's been lucky enough to get into. Can Nasula lift her daughter out of the gruelling poverty she was born into? It's a devastatingly difficult task for a woman who has nothing but her own determination to rely on.
Sinyangwe's novel is a beautiful little book. It's central theme is that poverty and dignity are not mutually exclusive and it relentlessly champions the 'little people' lost in the bustling crime-ridden, corrupt modern world. "A Cowrie of Hope", though quite old-fashioned in style, is a thematically modern African novel and though written by a man, has a strong female heroine with strong female support. The book touches on many of the big issues in modern Africa; AIDs, corruption, traditional family pressures, poverty and inequality but never forgets that there is a story to tell here. This is a touching and intensely moving book, whilst also a real page-turner. It's a simple tale of simple people, lovingly but simply told. Read and enjoy.