Cover Image: Days Come and Go

Days Come and Go

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Member Reviews

Days Come and Go by Hemley Boum tells the story of Anna and her daughter Abi and takes places in both Cameroon and France. When the story begins, we meet Anna in her village in Cameroon. We follow her through school and the arrival of her daughter. Abi's story is interspersed in Anna's story. We also follow Max, Abi's son, during one of his visits to Cameroon.

The family saga portion of the novel is compelling and keeps interest. Boum engages the reader with life in Cameroon without hitting them over the head with it. The parts in Paris with Abi and her family felt a little jumpy at first but, eventually, the storyline plays out and we understand why it is told.

A major issue with the book, however, is how the political piece comes out of nowhere and goes on. While I appreciate politics and history and social change in a story, in fact, I often find those pieces more interesting than the story, Boum smacks us in the face with some awful parts of East African life, notably Boko Harum. The existence of Boko Harum is deplorable and their actions are beyond horrible. And we should not ignore its existence or its actions. But, the way this groups was integrated into the story was forced. We heard nothing about extremists throughout the entire novel and then towards the end, BAM!, Boko Harum and rape and kidnapping and suicide bombers. It just felt forced. It felt like Boum wanted the world to know about the atrocities (which the world should) but couldn't figure out how to organically include it in the story. So another storyline was written.

I loved learning about Cameroon. I only wish the story had stayed focused on Anna and her family.

Thank you to #NetGalley for an ARC of #DaysComeAndGo.
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This contemplative novel charting the recent history of Cameroon begins as a mother-daughter story and shifts into a harrowing narrative of three young people recruited by Boko Haram.

Anna, the dying matriarch, received the benefit of an education from French nuns, who also tried to divide her from her people and culture. She married an idealistic man who joined the independence movement but later became part of the corrupt government. Their daughter, Abi, moved to France and married a white man, but marital troubles caused her to send their son, Max, back to Cameroon for a year spent with three vulnerable friends. The characters’ stories are woven together to create a rich portrait of a modern African country.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the review copy.
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The description of this book is accurate, yet somehow feels very different. Most information is told through the characters’ thoughts. There is little dialogue or action. 
I haven’t read many ARCs, so wasn’t sure what to expect. There was little formatting (no chapters or identification of sections by character or location). It took time to determine these changes while reading. Over halfway into the ebook, things did pick up and my attention peaked. 
I enjoyed learning about Cameroon (history, culture, etc).  This is a valuable story that I believe needs to be told.  However, it takes some time to get into.
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A story told through multiple POV, it walks us through some history and culture of Africa and the modern day life in Cameroon and Paris. I found the writing to be lyrical and wondered how it would to read the original. 
The story straddles cultures, the clash between the Western ideology and the reality of refugees within Africa. I am still  processing parts of the story, especially the violence waged in the name of religion. 
I received an ARC from Net Galley in return for my honest opinion. I do recommend this book.
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The description sounds fascinating - who doesn't love a multi-generational novel? 

Turns out, I didn't. 

This book, told from multiple POVs and multi timelines, was mainly told through description.

A lot of the narrative is in the head of the characters, especially Anna. 

Since the premise was really interesting I pick this up again.
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