Monday, March 18, 2019

Review: The Old Drift

The Old Drift

The Old Drift
Namwali Serpell

The Old Drift starts along the Zambezi River during colonial times, tracing the story of early explorers as they set off to discover Victoria Falls and the descendants they left behind who will eventually carve out a nation of their own. Over time, these descendants will intersect forming a tangled web of love and loss coupled together with a sense of hope and dreams for the future. It's a sweeping tale that incorporates a little romance, fairy tale, and science fiction. Frankly, it was unlike anything else I've read lately.

On the positive side, I thought the author had an incredible gift for descriptive writing. I like the middle of this book which focused on the creation of the Zambian nation and the characters who were struggling to find their course in history. I didn't, however, care for the fairy tale aspect of some chapters or the veering off into science fiction. While both the story and writing style were unique, it wasn't somehow what I was expecting, and if I'm honest, I think it was a little on the long side. I would have preferred it if it had been a story of the struggle for Zambian independence told in a more traditional fashion following the diverse set of characters.

Thanks to Hogarth Books for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

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