‘To play the country-game, we have to choose a country. Everybody wants to be the USA and Britain and Canada and Australia and Switzerland and them. Nobody wants to be rags of countries like Congo, like Somalia, like Iraq, like Sudan, like Haiti and not even this one we live in – who wants to be a terrible place of hunger and things falling apart?’
Darling and her friends live in a shanty called Paradise, which of course is no such thing. It isn’t all bad, though. There’s mischief and adventure, games of Find bin Laden, stealing guavas, singing Lady Gaga at the tops of their voices. They dream of the paradises of America, Dubai, Europe, where Madonna and Barack Obama and David Beckham live. For Darling, that dream will come true. But, like the thousands of people all over the world trying to forge new lives far from home, Darling finds this new paradise brings its own set of challenges – for her and also for those she’s left behind.
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Started nicely but withered towards the end
Our hunt for guavas!
Yes. It is an understated child's view of life in a vulnerable situation.
Stealing guavas. It reminded me of stealing apples when I was young.
Intonation and articulation of the language speak. I'm a big fan of language in its many forms, particularly when it gives life to a character as Robin Miles did.
The book made me laugh and cry. I grew up in an unsettled Britain, ie; IRA, civil riots. It just reaffirmed my view that I had it great, no doubt, compared to African children being subjected, and still, to violence and abuse. However, the characters are there to hold you up, and make you laugh and smile through their cheekiness. That's children for you.Resilient.