“Again, I felt a sense of belonging- the slow, irrational dissolution of the self I had known, and another core truth of being emerging in concert with the landscape.” – Rebecca Walker, Ade
A mixed race American girl (probably Rebecca Walker herself) takes a year off from university to travel around Africa with her best friend. While in Africa, the friends go through very different transformations. When the unnamed narrator goes to an island off the coast of Kenya, she falls in love with an African Muslim man, Ade.
What I liked about the book the most of all was the beautiful writing style. Rebecca Walker uses such lovely poetic language, especially when she falls in love with Ade. I also liked the themes that were investigated, especially belonging:
“I was being apprehended and to speak would have been to thrust the process, to deny these women the chance to run me through their filters, to digest me and, therefore let me inside and I knew that inside was where I wanted to be; that I would be accepted in the eye at the centre of the storm, and so I calmed myself and let myself be pulled across the divide.”
Overall I found the story a bit rushed. It was a novella that I feel could have worked better as a novel. Character development would have been very welcome, as well as a more in-depth look at various themes. The idea of a privileged atheist American teenager living on a predominantly Muslim African island was so intriguing to me but I don’t think it was developed enough.
I did enjoy the book. It was a quick read and if you’re a romantic, not a skeptic like me, you’ll probably enjoy it more!