Nowhere in Africa
Full of drama, filled with unforgettable characters, with mild humor and bitter irony, painted by the unique African color, Stephanie Zweig’s novel Nowhere in Africa has all the qualities of the book, which is destined to live long. In general, the plot is rather unusual and interesting (for me personally). The family of a successful Jewish lawyer moves from Nazi Germany to Kenya. And a new life begins, very different than the life, to which they are accustomed. It is necessary to live, to learn new language, to know new information about customs and people. They have to change themself. It is very difficult for Walter and Jettel. The Motherland does not let them go, they are full of anxiety and sorrow for those who stayed and could not come, and also the hope that all this is temporary. But the past life is a ghostly memory now, but the present real, and there are too many problems and worries here. It is necessary to live here, to survive, to trust the instinct, the call of the soul, because no lawyer practice will teach how to be saved from malaria, torrential rains and other problems and conditions of African life. Africa does not like weak people, and Walter and Jettel turned out to be such people. Surprisingly boring main characters. Fortunate persons in the past, losers now. He is not even forty years old, and he already thinks he is an old man. She is constantly unhappy, although I did not notice that she worked hard. Still, she had a servant who took on all the dirty work. Only Regina, their little daughter, accepted Africa as her home. She surprisingly quickly adapted to a new life, found friends and fell in love with this land. She turned out to be much more perceptive than her parents, and in some cases even smarter. It’s amazing, but often she taught them how to live. Maybe her relations with Owuor could have affected, or maybe that the children are more receptive than adults, it’s easier for them to adapt, but the girl here seemed to be in her place, while Walter and Jettel were out of place. In general, I think the book was not very successful. Instead of a beautiful and colorful narrative, we have flows of regrets and sighs. And only Owuor saved the situation. Owuor, a black African servant, one who knows more than he speaks. He went to his safari with dignity. For this family, he did everything he could. Now they have different ways.