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My favourite book with an African setting
Date of Review: 
Published Work: 
Jackie Bailey
Farm Lane Books Blog

The author, Andrew Sharp is a medical doctor, and ... the doctor’s magic is present throughout this book. It is packed with insightful observations about society, and detailed medical knowledge.

The first half of the book concentrates on the lives of the two very different boys growing up in East Africa, and is one of the best pieces of writing about life as a child I have seen. I was captivated by their innocent view of the world, and loved their childish banter. The author perfectly captures the minds of the two boys, and to be able to do this convincingly with two completely different cultures is an outstanding achievement.

The Ghosts of Eden also reveals much about the superstitions and spirit world of the African people. Although I have read a few books which have contained this subject before (most notably Ben Okri’s Famished Road) This is the first book in which I have been made to understand their belief system, and not just been confused by it.

I highly recommend this to anyone who wants to read about African culture, without battling with symbolism or the endless horrors of war. It is a beautifully written story, and I think it has just become my favourite book with an African setting.