From the author of The Devil That Danced on the Water - a timeless portrait of the lives of a family of independent, spirited African women over the last century of dramatic cultural change
Aminatta Fornas The Devil That Danced on the Water was rapturously acclaimed, a moving and gorgeously written memoir that garnered international attention. Now she has seamlessly turned her hand to fiction and delivers a novel that is lush and beautiful, a touching and intimate portrait of several generations of African women.
In Ancestor Stones, a young woman from West Africa, who has lived in England for many years and is married to a British man, returns to visit her family after years of civil war. Her four aunts have decided to leave her the family coffee plantation, as she is the last person in the family with the means to revive its fortunes. And on this trip home she is given an unprecedented look into the lives of the women in her family as her aunts Mary, Hawa, Asana, and Serah women who were mysterious and a bit intimidating to her younger selfbegin to tell her their stories. They are timeless tales of rivalrous co-wives, patriarchal society, and old religions challenged by Islamic and Christian incursions; they are modern stories of European-owned mining companies, the repressive influence of mission schools, corrupt elections, and the postcolonial African elite. Through their voices a family history interwoven with the history of a country emergesone of a society both ancient and modern, of a family of strong women refusing to live as second-class citizens.
In her debut foray into fiction, Forna has created a powerful, sensuously written novel that, through the lives of women, beautifully captures Africas past and present, and the legacy that her daughters take with them wherever they live. It is a wonderful achievement that recalls The God of Small Things and The Joy Luck Club, and establishes Forna as a gifted novelist.
Forna's first novel is told through the alternating stories of four strong women that, in combination, powerfully capture the social and political history of the small West African country of Sierra Leone through at least 60 troubled years. (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
Evening Standard (UK)
A literary diamond, a bloody ruby, leaving the reader elbow-deep in a treasure trove and heady with guilty delight at what has been discovered….staggering first novel…she has rekindled the dying embers of a much more precious art – that of listening.
Daily Telegraph (UK)
A writer of startling talent...The book leaves an impression of immense joyfulness, a sense of delight and wonder. Conveying the human spirit’s irrepressible love of life is the triumph of this magical book
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by Elizabeth Voices from Africa A beautifully told story of Sierra Leone through the voices of four daughters in the Kholifa clan (same father, all different mothers) spanning from 1926 to 2003. Describes a nearly lost way of life, the tragedy of civil war, and the unbreakable... Read More
A Short History of Sierra Leone The Republic of Sierra Leone is a small country with a population of about
5.3 million on the west coast of Africa (map) bordered by Guinea and Liberia (For more about Liberia visit
The Darling at BookBrowse and click the "BookBrowse Says" link). The
life expectancy of men is 39 years and women 42 years. The name is an
adaptation of the Portuguese, "serra leoa" (lion mountains).
During the 18th century it was an important center for the slave trade. In the late
18th century, British abolitionists and the Sierra Leone Company founded
Freetown as a home for Black Britons* and in 1808 the country became the first
British colony in Africa; by 1821 Freetown was the seat of government for all
British colonies in West Africa.
Sierra Leone gained its independence in 1961. In 1967 a military coup
deposed Premier Siaka Stevens' government; a year later Stevens returned to
power following another military coup. In 1978 Stevens declared a
"one-party" state with himself as the leader of the...
The devastating story of war through the eyes of a child soldier. Beah tells how, at the age of twelve, he fled attacking rebels and wandered a land rendered unrecognizable by violence. By thirteen, hed been picked up by the government army, and became a soldier.
These are 2 of the 11 readalike suggestions for Ancestor Stones. Members have full access to all readalikes. If you are a member, please login. To find out more about membership, click here.
A Man Called Intrepid author dies aged 89(Dec 03 2013) William Stevenson, a journalist and author who drew on his close ties with intelligence sources to write two best-selling books in the 1970s, A Man Called...