The Book of Memory by Petina Gappah

The Book of Memory

Petina Gappah

While on death row in a Zimbabwean prison, Memory begins to recount her story, at the centre of which lies her parents and Lloyd, and what may or may not have happened to Memory as a child. It is a story of unfolding revelations set against the backdrop of change in society. Befitting her name, Memory is a memorable character in a story beautifully told that you may want to read all over again once you've reached the final sentence.

When they were not in school, my father insisted that Joyi and Mobhi come too. They resented this because they would much rather have been playing on Mharapara than sitting in the waiting room full of sickness and a hushed silence that did not encourage giggles and fidgeting. The only consolation for Joyi was that it gave her material to use in her games with the other children. 'Let's play Memo Goes to Hospital,' I heard her shout once, immediately followed by the loud squabbling voices of the other children insisting that they wanted to be the doctor or the nurse - no one wanted to be me.
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