Adua by Igiaba Scego
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is more of a 3.5 star read for me, rounded up. I loved the approach of the novel with the three historical periods and a woman who has experienced massive changes in her life between growing up traditionally as a Somali Muslim girl and then transitioning to film stardom in Italy. I liked the techniques of the rotating narrative perspective between Adua, her father as a younger man, and the sections addressed to her, correcting her behavior. Very unique! But it just wasn't long enough. I only get a taste! I wanted so much more of her father's experience (perhaps too narrow of a view of his life, I needed more background to understand his choices), her childhood, and the time between her film career and marrying young immigrant men who need homes. And more about the modern Somalia with houses selling for millions.
The writing, even in translation, shines in its casual approachability and the ability to pull the reader into the setting through brief but evocative descriptions of smells and sounds.
I appreciated how the author provided a brief overview of the historical context of the three periods of her novel at the end, but I think I would have preferred to learn it inside the novel. I will look for more from her.
Thanks to the publisher for providing access to this title through Edelweiss.
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