Cover Image: We Are All Birds of Uganda

We Are All Birds of Uganda

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Member Reviews

I found this book difficult to get into and found the main character, Sameer, superficial and self-obsessed at first. The story is fascinating though and I was struck by how much family matters in Asian culture. I remember news stories about the expulsion of Asians from Uganda back in the 70s so it was interesting to learn more about the history through Sameer’s story. Ultimately, this book is  a rewarding and enlightening read.
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I was not able to read this book all the way through, I just couldn’t get into it, and my interest just kept wavering. It just wasn’t for me.
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This fascinating and compelling novel tells the story of Sameer, a high-flying young London lawyer, and his ancestral roots in Uganda's Indian community. When Sameer takes a spur-of-the-moment trip to Uganda - to explore his family's past and escape problems at home - he finds new connections that fundamentally change his outlook on life. 

I sometimes found the Hasan narrative - told in the form of letters to his dead wife - a little distant. These sections, particularly early on, are weighed down with an implausible amount of backstory exposition. And oddly (for a female author) the female characters had rather less depth. But I didn't mind this too much, given the strength of the main strand - Sameer's story. This is the backbone of the book, and it is beautifully told - a generally well rounded cast of relatable characters, and Sameer facing work, social and family pressures that propel us forward. 

The plot serves as a platform to raise social issues, which is what elevates this novel to a higher level. In particular, Sameer's exposure to racism in both subtle and violent forms, and where his wider family are both victims and perpetrators, is shown with creeping subtlety at first before emerging as the book's main theme. The result is the most sensitive and compelling exploration of racism from a British author since Malorie Blackman brought us Noughts and Crosses. 

In short, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this.
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I connected with this book immediately. Loved the main character, Sameer, from the opening chapter. 
This is a story of a high flying city lawyer who increasingly becomes disillusioned with the life he is living. An incident involving one of his childhood friends reconnects him with his family in Leicester who try to encourage him to join the family business. Although he knows that isn’t right for him, he knows the the London city life isn’t either.  Reconnecting with his families past life in Uganda Sameer finally gets a glimpse of what living is all about. 
Told in current day UK along  with 1960s Uganda this also gave me a real history lesson into that country’s  political history which I knew nothing about. So this has been a real education too. 
Racism, generational culture, love and family ties are all key components of this novel by a really accomplished debut author who I feel sure we are going to hear a lot more from.
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I can't find the words to describe how much I adored every, single, beautiful word of this totally amazing story!

If I could give this book more than 5 stars I would. The themes and subject matter of this novel are very real, and enlightened me on a subject that I have always been interested in -  the expulsion of East African Indians from Uganda. 

I shall not retell this story, because to do so would not do it any justice, but I will tell you that it was deeply moving, resonant and profound on so many levels. I fell in love with all of the characters, and loved how there were two connected stories running simultaneously, 

This is one of the best books I have read in a long time and the writing is exceptional. A truly remarkable debut novel that I will shout about from the rooftops. I highly recommend this book, and I applaud this talented author for her talent and wonderful writing.

Thank you to Netgalley, the author, and publisher, for an early copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. I feel very privileged to have read this novel, as I'm sure it will be highly recognised for the amazing piece of writing that it is.
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What an amazing book. Sensitively written,it covers so many issues. Family, religion, racism, bullying, loyalty. 
I found the main protagonist, Sameer, quite hard to warm to, but warmed to him as the book progressed. Faced with an empty and seemingly unhappy life does he make the right life choices? 
Eloquent writing made me feel completely part of the story, so much so that I should dearly love to visit Uganda, and I am definitely going to read more about Ugandan history. The whole book left me with food for thought. 
An absolute gem of a book.
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