Nadifa Mohamed justifies her place on this year’s Granta list with a powerful and atmospheric tale of women and lossLoss pervades this atmospheric second novel from Somali-born author Nadifa Mohamed, one of Granta’s best of young British novelists 2013. Loss haunted her first novel, too, Black Mamba Boy, a fictional account of her father’s intrepid journey in search of his own absent father.Set in Hargeisa, northern Somalia in the turbulent time of the late 1980s leading up to the civil war, her absorbing new novel skilfully uses the perspectives of three women spanning the generations – nine-year-old refugee Deqo, a young female soldier, Filsan, and the widow Kawsar – to devastatingly capture things falling apart.The urgent search for what is missing or lost proves poignant. All of these characters are seeking something, whether physical or emotional: young Deqo pines for her first pair of shoes; the lonely Kawsar lolling in her orchard craves heat (her “bones ache for sunlight”), and Filsan the feisty female soldier moves to Mogadishu aspiring to suppress the rising rebellion and find peace. As violence escalates, the direst loss is of life, Mohamed unflinchingly depicting humans turned by war into “just slack skin over bones”, Kawsar …read more

Via: The Guardian | Books