HOPE IS OUR ONLY WING by Rutendo Tavengerwei is a lovely story that contains a determined balance of grief and hope. This post DOES NOT CONTAIN SPOILERS.
I graciously obtained this ARC from Soho Teen who kindly sent it to me for an honest review. Here is the summary and shortened review.
For fifteen-year-old Shamiso, struggling with grief and bewilderment following her father’s death, hope is nothing but a leap into darkness.
For Tanyaradzwa, whose life has been turned upside down by a cancer diagnosis, hope is the only reason to keep fighting.
As the two of them form an unlikely friendship, Shamiso begins to confront her terrible fear of loss. In getting close to another person, particularly someone who’s ill, isn’t she just opening herself up to more pain? And underpinning it all – what did happen to her father, the night of that strange and implausible car crash?
Note: When you purchase the book with the link above, you are supporting my local indie bookstore, Avid Bookshop. Thank you.
Why I was interested: The book is a modern historical fiction story set during the 2008 Zimbabwe elections and the surrounding political turmoil. There are not many opportunities to read modern historical fiction — especially one not focused on the United States nor Europe — so I was immediately excited.
Judge a book by it’s cover: I love the cover I was given which focuses on a feather with a young girl’s face on it — possibly either Shamiso’s or Tanyaradzwa’s.
What to expect: At first notice, this book is much shorter than your typical 350 page book. It runs at about 200 pages, about novella length, and is a quick yet emotional read. Tavengerwei does a great job pulling from Shamiso’s and Tanyaradzwa’s POVs along with a scattering of others. Both girls learn about friendship and accomplishing grief together but you also learn about what Zimbabwe was like in 2008. The only thing I wish was added to the end of the story would be a historical note as I really love reading them and understanding how the story fits in general history, especially the history of a country and time which might not be studied or generally understood.
Why you should pick this book up: If you are looking for a quick and enjoyable standalone that is about a place and time you may not have much knowledge about, then this is definitely a read for you. Tavengerwei creates a well-rounded showcase of the 2008 Zimbabwe election through the eyes of Shamiso and Tanyaradzwa.
Want more?: This book will be published by Soho Teen on Tuesday, Sept. 10 and my spoiler review will be published on Thursday, Sept. 12, here, on #MGR.
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