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House of Stone

by Novuyo Rosa Tshuma

House of Stone by Novuyo Rosa Tshuma X
House of Stone by Novuyo Rosa Tshuma
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2019
    400 pages
    Genre: Novels

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  • Tawana J. (Brownsville, VT)


    A page turner
    From the moment I cracked the book open I couldn't put it down, there were some grammar mistakes but it didn't ruin the story. It is a story I would recommend to friends.
  • Beverly J. (Hoover, AL)


    Powerful, exquisitely affecting, blisteringly honest
    House of Stone is an impressive debut that examines the integration and recreation of personal and national identities through the lens of one "family" from the dissolution of Rhodesia, the birth of Zimbabwe, and what being a nation entails.

    It is through the lens of the hopeful wily protagonist Zamani and his obsessive need to immerse himself into the family history of his landlords in order to re-create his "his-story" that makes this storyline so poignant.
    While the violence is brutal it is well-balanced by the lively luminous prose as Tshuma deftly weaves the historical and personal into a seamless chronicle and provides a testament to the "culture of enforced amnesia."

    At the end, I was so appreciative of how cleverly this story not only engaged me into the lives of these compelling characters, provided a thought-provoking history lessons but left me with an extraordinary reading experience of a place and time that is more universal than not.
  • Ann B. (Kernville, CA)


    A layered novel in which history commands center stage
    This sprawling novel set in Zimbabwe during Robert Mugabe's brutal government marks the impressive debut of Novuyo Rosa Tshuma. The book will appeal to readers seeking a layered, twist-filled #ownvoices story of oppressed and haunted people seeking to transcend the past.
  • Sharon P. (San Diego, CA)


    Mixed feelings BUT very good book
    I love this style of historical fiction. It's so important to learn about another country's history from an authentic voice like Ms. Tshuma. I know some readers might be bothered or confused by all the native words and slang, however, I felt it was integral to story. I chose not to research the exact meanings of the words, but instead relished the context in which they were used.

    I loved the slow unfurling of the mystery and the stories of each character, but the flashback narrative was a bit confusing. My biggest problem is that I could not muster any sympathy for Zamani, the main narrator. I felt his desperation and manipulation, however, not his heart.

    Thankfully, Mama Agnes and Abednego captured my heart, with their flawed pasts and their deep love of their missing son. Through their stories and pain, we the readers can learn about the turmoil, violence, and struggle for a free Zimbabwe.
  • Mary S. (Bow, NH)


    The most wonderful anti-hero
    Meet Zamani a conniving, passive-agressive narrator. Through his story, and his attempts to ingratiate himself in the lives of a family, the reader also sees the bloody and violent birth of Zimbabwe as it breaks free of colonial Rhodesia. At times humorous, at times hard to read because of the pain on the page, the plot moves along briskly and continuously engages the reader. A well-written book that would be excellent for book clubs as there is much to discuss!
  • Suzette P. (Chicago, IL)


    A Masterful Tale of Zimbabwe History
    The word Zimbabwe is thought to be Shona for House of Stone and this novel is a recounting of the cataclysmic events that formed the nation under Robert Mugabe as told through the personal tragedies of Abednego, his wife Mama Agnes, and their lodger Zamani, who narrates the story. Zamani is a cipher - he wants to be a member of the family and will go to frightening lengths to ingratiate himself, leaving the reader to wonder at his end game. I loved this book; it's wonderfully descriptive and, as Zamani's actions become increasingly disturbing, breathtakingly gripping.While often humorously told, the story is not for the faint of heart - it includes rapes, murders, ethnic cleansing, and wife beating, among other things.But the author's word play is impressive and her creation of Zamani, a great deceiver who is determined to succeed in his goals, is a great literary achievement. Highly recommended.
  • Gina S. (Long Beach, CA)


    A Stunning Debut
    House of Stone by Novuyo Rosa Tshuma is a remarkable debut accomplishment. The premise of the novel revolves around Bukhosi, the teenage son of Abednego and Agnes Mlambo who is missing and the turbulent times of Zimbabwe under the leadership of Robert Mugabe.

    Ms. Tshuma’s writing is stunning, the characters are fully developed and the storyline is compelling. She tells the story through the eyes of the main character Zamani’s personal narrative & that of his landlords, Abednego and Mama Agnes.
    She demonstrates her skillful ability as a writer to bring balance between what she calls the “hi-story” of her characters with the long & troubled history of her country. Parts of the story are heartbreaking and shocking at times and hard to read but overall it is clever, astute, cunning, and witty.

    The book is well written and not only will you learn about the history of Zimbabwe but you will also get a picture of what the people of this nation had to endure & continue to endure to obtain and ensure peace and economical security.
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