Sunday, November 23, 2008

Review - Sweetness in the Belly

Sweetness in the Belly, by Camilla Gibb was my seventh read for the "Challenge" and was a wonderful read. It follows the story of Lilly, who is taken in by Sufis and trained/educated as a Muslim by the Great Abdal after she is orphaned by her British-born hippy parents who travel with her and are killed when a drug deal in Africa goes wrong. It is divided in sections looking back to the 70's in Harar, Ethiopia and to the present day (which is the early 90's) in London where Lilly has immigrated to and lives in supported housing with other Ethiopian refugees. While I am not familiar with the politics of the 70's in this area of Africa, I was fascinated with this aspect of the work and learning about a time I did not know about. It is part romance, part struggle with poverty, part fitting in when you don't really fit in and much more. The character development of Lilly and the other supporting characters is fantastic. A much quicker read than my previous read as it was really enjoyable. It is a fantastic story set in actual history that I just adored to put it simply.

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