This entertaining memoir is set in Gatooma (Kadoma) during the time the country Zimbabwe was still known as Rhodesia. It is largely an account of a family history that touches on the lives of so many others and their memories.
The book will be of interest to anyone who has lived in or loved Africa. The story unfolds to reveal how the author’s parents built a farm and a business from crown land with only a dirt track leading through it. Interwoven in their lives between the successes and failures of the farm, their children arrive, bringing a whole new dimension to family life. The characters of the extended family further enrich the story along with intriguing neighbours who bring in even more colour and contrast to the unfolding picture.
The challenges the author’s parents faced were daunting. Through sheer determination, hard work, ingenuity, long hours and many years, they built one of the finest farms in the area.
Rhodesia was at the time a paradise and this book is a valuable record of history as a dramatisation and a true slice of life as it once was. There are glimpses of real-life conditions within these telling pages of the exploits of the Rorke family.
The book is a great memoir for someone who never visit Rhodesia and has little knowledge of it. The descriptions in the book are beautiful and clearly paints an image of how beautiful the country is. The book itself is in a good chronological order which made it an easy story to read through. There is nothing worse than a memoir with no order. It was a refreshing read that takes you through generations of the Rorke family as they establish themselves; have children and build up their farm.
The things that I enjoyed most about the book is the fact that it was so realistic. Nothing was sugar coated in the book in terms of the divide of race or class, or when things needed to be done in order to ensure the farms success – whether technically legal or not. The people in the book are amazing, and definitely worth admiring as they face each and every challenge head on in order to build a future for the family.