Finished reading "We Need New Names" by NoViolet Bulawayo. It's her debut work and the book has been nominated for Man Booker Prize.
A 10 year old girl, Darling and her friends with some weird names, like Bastard, Godknows etc, live in a place they call Paradise in Zimbabwe. They steal guavas and try to be fun, playing Find Bin Laden, and analyse their future in a difficult times, when paramilitary police have destroyed their home. Darling is still hopeful, as she has a aunt in America and she hopes to shift there for a better life.
Actually, it's children fiction, told from the point of view of Darling. You can feel the innocence in the narration. I liked the thoughtfulness of Darling and the way her innocent mind tries to analyse serious things. The story is serious and hopeful yet there's a soft sense of humour that I really liked in this book.
For a children/young adult fiction, there has to be innocence and lucidity in the narration, and the book qualifies in this arena.
There was no distinction between narration and dialogues and I found that disturbing. I think book cover is very plain and not apt for the story. It should have been more vibrant and colorful, with some cute pictures.
Overall, for me, it was a nice read!
I received this book from Random House India (Random Reads) for an unbiased review. Thank you!