Nganang’s latest is an artfully constructed novel that explores the intersection of the personal and the political in Cameroonian history in their stride towards independence and unity.
The time period for the final book in Nganang’s impressive trilogy of the Cameroon’s inharmonious road to a national identity that includes brutal violence and hopes for an ideal harmony between all citizens alternates between the 1960s when Cameroon seeks independence from their colonizers and the current time period which is still simmering to deal with the ethnic hostilities fostered by colonial decisions.
The personal for this story is the family dynamics between a father and son and the complicated web of secrets and tangles and the way stories told and untold across different generations.
This is top-notch historical fiction sharply observed and elegantly written and effectively shows how “just facts” may not convey the truth.
While this book works well as a stand-alone. I do recommend reading all three books in the trilogy in order to immerse yourself in the Cameroonian from their point-of-view.
What I appreciated in this book (and the prior books in the trilogy) is that Nganang makes sure to include female characters and to make them active participants in the history presented in the books.
Kudos to the translator Amy R. Reid for the wonderful translation that enhanced my enjoyment of the storyline.