Rossandra White, author
Adolescents Elizabeth and Tururu—she’s white, he’s black—share an uneasy friendship on a remote sisal plantation in 1953's Zimbabwe. The country has just been declared part of a British Federation. Resentment to white rule erupts throwing them into the crossfire of political change and ancient ritual. Will their friendship survive? The novel's dual viewpoints afford an intimate glimpse into the two faces of a country at a crucial time in its history.
White (Loveyoubye) spellbinds with her inspired fiction debut set on a sisal plantation in 1953 Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). Young Elizabeth McKenzie tries in vain to appease her pregnant mother as she silently questions the dismissive treatment of black servants by her elders. Despite racial tension, she finds friendship with Tururu, son of one of the family’s servants, who struggles to learn ancient incantations and potions for healing and protection from his grandmother Anesu, the local tribal witch doctor. Anesu hopes to rid the valley of whites as British officials force the Federation Day union of Southern Rhodesia and its two neighbor countries. The spirit of rebellion is personified in Anesu’s first grandson and former apprentice Karari. After injuring Anesu with dark magic he cannot control, volatile Karari incites fellow native black kaffirs, who have been given no voting rights, to strike against whites. Tururu must help Anesu stop her rogue apprentice before Karari destroys everyone, including himself. The protagonists encounter not only cultural injustice but malevolent fire spirits and supernatural Shona apparitions. Fine storytelling illuminates this fable about coming of age and the bonds of friendship. (BookLife)