Nowhere in Africa is the extraordinary tale of a Jewish family who flees the Nazi regime in 1938 for a remote farm in Kenya. Abandoning their once-comfortable existence in Germany, Walter Redlich, his wife Jettel, and their five-year-old daughter, Regina, each deal with the harsh realities of their new life in different ways. Attorney Walter is resigned to working the farm as a caretaker; pampered Jettel resists adjustment at every turn; while the shy yet curious Regina immediately embraces the country - learning the local language and customs, and finding a friend in Owuor, the farm's cook. As the war rages on the other side of the world, the family’s relationships with their strange environment become increasingly complicated as Jettel grows more self-assured and Walter more haunted by the life they left behind.
In 1946, with the war over, Regina's fondest dream comes true when her brother Max is born. Walter's decision, however, to return to his homeland to help rebuild a new Germany puts his family into turmoil again.
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Book Even Better than Oscar-Winning Movie
- Susie "I'm Audible's first Editor-at-Large, the host of In Bed with Susie Bright -- and a longtime author, editor, journo, and bookworm. I listen to audio when I'm cooking, playing cards, knitting, going to bed, waking up, driving, and putting other people's kids to bed! My favorite audiobooks, ever, are: "True Grit" and "The Dog of the South.""
I loved this book!
I've been concentrating on listening to WW II books as I wanted to learn more about that time in history, especially how the Nazis treated people in the various countries like France, the Netherlands, Scandinavia etc. I had not read any books that dealt with German Jews fleeing Germany into Africa, so this was new for me. The history of Jews living and trying to leave Germany and the hardships and atrocities they encounter are pretty well documented in other books, and this one does spend some time on that process, but once the family arrives in Africa, wow!
Ms. Zweig does a fantastic job writing about the lives and hardships of those who have had to leave their country, but she does an amazing job of writing about the relationships that develop between the fleeing Jews and the local tribes people of Kenya.The descriptions remind me a bit of "the Power of One", written by Bryce Courtenay, who was born in Africa and had to leave his country because of apartheid problems there. He met and married an Australian woman and lived and wrote in Australia until his death recently.
Anyway, Ms. Zweig has caught the rhythm, melody and unique way of thinking of the local people. I loved the blend of each, European and African, as they viewed a problem or situation that needed some solution. The daughter, who is very young when she arrives in Africa, is caught between two worlds, her parents' and her adopted Africa's. She becomes a rather split personality, when it comes to her thinking processes.
This is an historical novel, set in Germany and Africa but it's timber and tone is so different from many of the offerings you will come across. If you are looking for a book that gives information about WWII but is not the run of the mill account then this book is for you.
- Shannon Miles "Formerly Maui Writers Conference Founder/Director"