Today’s book looks like a bit of a rare (or at least obscure) breed – YA set in Africa. This particular novel is a coming-of-age story set in 1960’s Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), although the political themes might make it more of an adult read.
The White Shadow by Andrea Eames (Harvill Secker)
‘Look after your sister, Tinashe.’
Tinashe is a young Shona boy living in a small village in rural Rhodesia. The guerilla war of the late 1960s haunts the bushlands, but it only infrequently affects his quiet life; school, swimming in the river, playing with the other kids on the kopje.
When his younger sister, Hazvinei, is born, Tinashe knows at once that there is something special about her. Their life in the village, once disturbed only by the occasional visits of his successful uncle and city cousin, Abel, now becomes entangled with the dual forces of the Shona spirit world and the political turmoil of the nation.
As Tinashe, Hazvinei and Abel grow older, their destinies entangle in ways they never expected. Tinashe is prepared to follow his sister anywhere – but how far can he go to keep her safe when the forces threatening her are so much darker and more sinister than he suspected?
Andrea Eames weaves together folklore and suspense in this compelling tale of a boy struggling to do the right thing in an unpredictable world.
The White Shadow was published on 2 February 2012 by Harvill Secker, an imprint of Vintage Books. I received a review copy from Tammy February at Women24.