Sunday 8 February 2015

Dew in the Morning, 1982, Shimmer Chinodya ***

I actually started reading "Dew in the Morning" in 2014 and finished in 2015. Narrated through the voice and eyes of a young boy, Godi. His parents not being able to afford to take care of him and his siblings in the city, send them along with their mother to live in the country side. For the most part, the novel is a narrative on Godi's coming of age in rural Zimbabwe and getting used to its custom, for instance; the dew in the morning, the rearing of cattle and farming. Not to forget the superstitious village people whose belief continuously baffle him. And how he aimed to win the heart of the girl he loves. His father remained in the city, alone, working very hard in order to send them to school. In my opinion the writer was in a way comparing the style of life in urban and rural Zimbabwe.
I am not sure if I really enjoyed this novel. Actually, it was a well written and easy narrative. Perhaps, it's the too much information about the rearing of cattle, ploughing and farming. Though, I totally understand they are part and parcel of rural life. Perhaps, it is simply because it is very young adult-oriented.

Dew in the Morning is Shimmer Chinodya first published novel, I look forward to reading more of his work not because I thoroughly enjoyed this book but because he won the 1990 Commonwealth Writers' Prize: Best Book, Africa with his novel Harvest of Thorns Though from its title it seems to be set in rural Zimbabwe too. I would also like to read his novel Can we talk and other Stories (1998), very well reviewed on African Book Addict.

My first novel read and reviewed in 2015, as well, an addition to my Reading African Writers Series Challenge. Lastly, I would like to point out that I love the painting on the book cover.

Have you read anything from Shimmer Chinodya? How was your reading experience? Do you recommend?


  1. A fine review, Mary. Haven't read this yet.

    1. Celestine, you are not missing anything. Thank you for the compliments.

  2. Ayy, thanks for the shout out :). I purchased this book last month, but I'm not very keen on reading it, esp because you (of all people) did not really enjoy it :(. I hope I get to it soon though. And yesss, I love the book cover art as well.
    Nice review, Mary!

    1. Hi Darkowaa, yes, absolutely, you have a very fine review of Can we Talk and other stories. And I look forward to reading it.
      No, I do not recommend "Dew in he morning" or since you've purchased it you may as well give it try, it is an easy simply and good narrative. However, the story is dim, dry, boring....


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