"There was so much celebration, just the joy of seeing the dictatorship come to an end the way it did. It was complicated, though, because we knew his deputy was going to take over. But we hoped against hope that we had a turned a corner."
She decided that she would go back to Zimbabwe; she also wondered if it was time for her to write a "nonfiction book about this moment, 'too unbelievable to ignore.' " Once there though, she saw firsthand how "the sense of hope turned very quickly into disappointment and devastation," and thought perhaps the book she should write should be more along the lines of a "modern-day parable of Zimbabwe." This is that book, and the players are all animals. Before I actually bought this novel, I had decided to give it a pass, thinking that it seemed like it might be a case of Animal Farm redux. But my curiosity got the better of me, and as it happens, I was completely wrong. In fact, at some point close to the beginning of this story, author NoViolet Bulawayo reminds her readers that this is definitely not that -- as Dr Sweet Mother, the wife of the president of Jidada says while addressing a crowd from the podium,
"...couldn't meet the dawn carrying the sad, terrible baggage of that awful past, no; it absolutely had to find us on a brand-new page and proper ready for a fresh start, best foot forward, no less."
"this country's long, long, long terribly dark night has indeed ended and we now perch on the wings of a brand new dawn..."
"...the children of the nation found themselves standing hungry and thirsty and hopeless and penniless in the queues, tholukuthi Tuvy's eyes watching them from old election posters that promised a new and better Jidada they now understood, with a heartbreaking knowledge, would never come, was never meant to come."