Member Reviews

An interesting account of life in the diaspora. I found that Chatora's portrayal of women as wives in this book and also in Diaspora dreams abit one dimensional. Chatora portray's them as unsupportive women who are vindicative and mean- almost like villans of the stories. In contrast, the men these women are married to, are seemingly good natured and hardworking - with families that take advantage of them. I am not sure that I this depiction sits well with me. I feel that this unsympatheic characterisation of wives and women in Chatora's novel's feels like a patriachal lens towards African women - and as such this lens fails to provide a robust, holistic examination into the challenges that women and men really face in diasporan communities.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you NetGalley for the eARC of this book.

Where the Heart Is is Andrew Chatoras second novel about being Zimbabwean diaspora in England. The book focuses on four family members, The husband Fari, his wife Maidei, and their children Muchadei and Yeukai. We meet the family as they struggle with remittances, unfaithfulness, cultural clashes, and family fall-outs. The book jumps back and forth between POVs, which can be confusing, but it's also really interesting to see events from different view points and how completely differently the family members view the situation.

There is something for everyone to reflect about in this faily short book. It isn't easy being a first-generation immigrant, struggling with the feeling of where in the world you belong, in your old or new home. However, it isn't less difficult to be a second generation immigrant, watching your parents inability to adapt into a society you deem normal.

As soon as I opened this book I fell in love with the the language, which is masterfully crafted and beautifully eloquent. I also loved the naturalness of the characters' struggles, and I loved the fact that the book wasn't cheesy while also not being overly pessimistic. The only think stopping me from giving it a full five stars is that the constant jump in timelines confused me, especially in the beginning, and that I feel there is a plothole that isn't covered. Other than that I highly recommend the read.

Was this review helpful?