With the recent leadership changes in Zimbabwe it’s been a rather apt time to read House of Stone which is written by Novuyo Tshuma.
Published through Atlantic Books in June this year, House of Stone tells the story of a family and their lives from colonial Rhodesia through to the bloody changes that saw the birth of modern-day Zimbabwe.
We meet Abed and his wife Agnes who’s only son Bukhosi has disappeared. Their lodger Zamani tells them that Bukhosi has gone away to South Africa. But is that the truth?
Zamani has lodged with the family for a long time, but lives in an outhouse rather than in the main family home. He is desperate to be part of the family and welcomed into the house as a son. What steps will he take to achieve his goal?
As Zamani starts to ingratiate himself into family we learn more about the childhood of both Abed and Agnes and the struggles them and their families faces as the country changed from colonial rule to the supposed freedom of Mugabe and his followers. It’s clear that corruption and ruling you fear was the normal state of affairs from the birth of Zimbabwe.
Some of their stories are quite harrowing to read as, although House of Stone is fictional, you as the reader, know that there is so much truth within the story, of what families witnessed through that time.
Looking in from the outside it’s also fairly clear what’s has almost certainly happened to young Bukhosi. But you wish that that truth isn’t so and can fully understand why his parents cling to the hope that he will be returning home.
House of Stone is a really poignant and thought-provoking story which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading. I’ve included my Amazon Affiliate link below in case you fancy adding House of Stone to your bookshelf.
disclosure: we were sent the item mentioned in exchange for an honest review