Title: Then A Wind Blew
Writer: Kay Powell
Publishing House: Weaver Press
Date of Publication: January 26th 2021
Rating: 4 stars
‘’She loved to be out in the stoep at night, her only companions the wind that sang in the long grass and the nights calls of distant animals. And the crickets, with their non-stop night-time prrp – prrp – prrp – prrp. If stars made a noise – and she couldn’t see why they wouldn’t – she imagined they’d sound like crickets, thousands upon thousands of crickets.
‘Listen to the stars’, she’d say sometimes to visitors sitting on her step, looking out into the Mashonaland night.’’
Your land is not yours. It hasn’t been yours for years and years. Your land belongs to the white population. You cannot lease it, you have no rights at all. And why? Because you are occupied. Because greed and tyranny are the most powerful fellowship in the service of Evil. There are times when war cannot be avoided and women are always the greatest victims in every conflict. And the greatest fighters.
‘’Now is a good time to sing this song, my sister. When the suffering seems greatest.’’
In this powerful novel by Kay Powell, we witness the Zimbabwe War of Liberation that lasted from 1964 to 1979 through the eyes of three women. Nyanye, a young woman who has fled to a Mozambique camp, Beth, a nun in an African reserve and Susan, a fiend who hates everyone and everything. Motherhood, sisterhood, the faith in God and in yourself, and the fight to take back what is yours form a memorable narrative, rich in beautiful descriptions of the natural environment, depicted in lyrical and raw writing that flows without being shocking just for the sake of exposition. The novel offers a powerful insight into the personalities of Nyanye and Beth and the immense, unthinkable hardships they face to survive and contribute to their course without losing themselves and the values they hold dear in the process.
But Susan? Jesus! I don’t even want to write her name. I could hardly read her thoughts: ‘’Freedom from what?’’ Yes, bitch, you wouldn’t exactly have a party if someone occupied your precious Britain, right? ‘’There hadn’t been ANY African history until the European arrived!’’ ‘’So-called African civilizations’’. A black Christ on the cross is something unfathomable to her as is the fact that an African family can raise a child properly. What an entitled, racist demon! I dare to suppose that her character is there to present the tyrannical views of a portion of the white population but I felt seek just by reading her name on a page. Her character diminished my overall reading experience and I would be a liar if I denied the fact that I would have preferred a different point of view.
So, let the demon rot sixteen feet under. The closure has an ethereal, almost whimsical beauty and soothes the wounds caused by violence and creatures like the Susans of our world. It gives the promise of peace, justice, equality and unity. The four greatest values, so desirable, so fragile, and most of the times, almost unattainable.
‘’-My name means ‘the second twin.’
‘’Oh, you’re a twin? And your twin’s name? Is it a name that means the first twin?
The woman laughed and looked at the Sister. Nyanye was about to say ‘Theresa’. But because of the woman’s laughter, she said.
-No, it does not mean that.
-What does it mean, then?
-’We have conquered.’
Many thanks to Kay Powell and Weaver Press for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.