Wednesday, 3 December 2014

This Is The Novel To Buy This Festive Season

"Belonging in Africa" is an autobiographical novel inspired by Jo Alkemade's experiences at the time.

Jo was that teenage girl growing up in Kenya in the 70s. As the author, she has an intimate understanding of era and place that authenticates this story's Western perspective of a uniquely African adventure.

An MA in English Language and Literature from Leiden University in the Netherlands, with a major in African Studies, helped lay the foundation for "Belonging in Africa".

Here is a synopsis of the book.

Kenya in 1978 is an electrifying place for an 18-year-old. From wanton gyrations on the disco floor to dreams of a freedom all her own after finishing school and finally leaving her parents' house... Sara is elated by life!

When Sara falls wildly in love with Sam, she tweaks her plans. Their passion is perfect, but all too soon the outside world intrudes.

Sam and Sara might be blind to the color of their skins, but everybody else knows that black and white should never mix.

Sam confronts Sara's father, who is horrified by his daughter's choice of lover. He has other plans for his little girl.

Sara is impressed by Sam's resolve when he stands up to her father - but is she willing to set aside her own belief in equality to become what Sam expects of his woman? Could she ever entertain the idea of a polygamous relationship?

Love is undeniable, but a future together in a complicated world may not be quite as easy as Sam and Sara imagine. 

In 2008, Jo Alkemade wrote the children's book: "Jennifer and Jojo: Friends Forever", published by Kenya Literature Bureau and approved by the Kenya Institute of Education for classroom use. Various short stories have been published in online magazines, and in the anthology "Short and Happy (or not)".

After a lifetime of globetrotting, Jo has settled in a small town just south of Santa Fe, New Mexico in the USA.

Kenya continues to hold a special place in her heart, and she visits whenever she can.