When Rain Clouds Gather by Bessie Head

This book is one of the most complex I’ve read. Bessie Head as a realist writer, her characters and their relationships aren’t shallow. Which makes it easier to follow the/ir development. There’s an an autobiographic feel about the story; Just like Head, the protagonist, Makhaya, was a journalist in apartheid South Africa who emigrates and settle in Botswana. The entire length of the story is how he integrates himself in his new community, thrown in with themes of hope, trust, faith, tribalism, change. 

Head offers a lot of explicit descriptions of agricultural practices, but what interested me more is how she creates implied narratives with ideologies (Christianity, democracy, authoritarianism) in the story, and she also does the same with most characters, keeping the reader outside looking in. I suspect the latter, Head used as agency for otherness, a theme she carries in all her books. 

A recommended read for those interested in gardening/nature literature, not my cup of tea.
2.5/5 Stars

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