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Beautiful and Evocative.,
This review is from: Children of the Revolution (Paperback)
The narrator of this beautifully written and evocative story, Sepha Stephanos, fled Ethiopia following the death of his father at the hands of the Red Terror. The story opens 17 years following Sepha's immigration to the US, in Washington DC where he now runs his own rundown store in a fairly rough neighbourhood. He has two staunch friends i.e. Kenneth from Kenya"the engineer" and Joe "the poet" from the Congo; all three were full of hope and optimism about their futures when they first arrived in the US but are now all disillusioned with the American Dream.
These three lonely African exiles endeavour to sustain each other as they try to break with their native country's violent past and attempt to build new lives in their adopted country.
Joe's suburb is being cleaned up and rebuilt to accommodate middle-class people with dire consquences for some of the locals and when the well-off Judith moves into the neighbourhood with her daughter, Naomi, Joe begins to make friends with them and is especially taken with Naomi, a very intelligent but troubled child.
Mengistu's prose is mellifluous and beautiful and perfectly conveys what it must mean to be an exile and his characters are finely drawn; I came to care about all three exiles but especially Sepha, a gentle and engaging man facing trials we can only imagine with quiet dignity and strength.
I enjoyed every word in this novel and was terribly reluctant to let Sepha go as I wanted to continue to see how his life and the lives of his two friends evolved.
I highly recommend this thought-provoking book.