by Ellen Banda-Aaku (Penguin Books) ISBN 978-0-14-352753-4
Patterns of thinking and emotional behaviour seem to persist through generations.
Pumpkin, a nine-year-old girl, is living in Lusaka. We are led through her torrid journey and the way she perceives it.
Her mother a seemingly respectable and fashionable woman is secretly a drunk. Her father seldom sees them. She witnesses situations beyond her years, with some graphic descriptions. All Pumpkin yearns for is for her parents to be united in marriage.
In later years she begins to understand women’s insecurities regarding the men in their lives. Women get the raw end of the deal, especially when they love the same man. Material needs may be met but emotional riches are often lacking.
Pumpkin supports her father in his political campaign, which reveals some insights of that time. The book gains momentum towards the end, reaching its pinnacle at the right time.
The reader may well ask, “Can we patch up our mistakes?” People’s beliefs and cultures are revealed through the pages of this book. It’s an easy read.