I started this post over a month ago – it never takes me a month to read a book & certainly not a book of only 274 pages…….unless I am not enjoying said book. An Elegy for Easterly was a book I received from LibraryThing Early Reviewers & it is a good(ish) book, but just not for me. The some of the stories seemed unfinished & totally abstract (unfortunately abstract & Ceinwenn do not make happy bed/book/art/whatever-mates). I like concrete, structured finished stories & this collection of short stories isn’t that.
Take for instance the story called “An Elegy for Easterly” – It’s about a kind of shanty-town where there is a very insane woman called Martha Mupengo who is pregnant but nobody knows where Martha came from or who is the father of her unborn baby. Enter some woman named Josephat, who is desperate to have a baby but can’t, who steals Martha’s baby then leaves her for dead. It turns “out that the baby is probably Josephat’s husbands. Not long after the baby is born the government bulldozes the compound & Martha’s body is found. In a nutshell that is the story – without the African-ness & without the abstractness of the story. While the story made sense, it was wrapped a little too much in abstract for me to enjoy.
I wish I could say that I enjoyed this book more because I had really been looking forward to it. I loved the cultural elements of the book, but the abstract I could have done without. I have no regrets in reading this book though, as it’s not something I would normally have read & that’s exactly why I originally embarked on this Global reading journey!