Tuesday, November 19, 2013

G207 Book Review of Ade a Love Story by Rebecca Walker

Name of Book: Ade, A Love Story

Author: Rebecca Walker

ISBN: 978-0-544-14922-9

Publisher: New Harvest

Type of book: Africa, 1990s, lost identity, travel, relationship, love, giving up, civil war, culture shock

Year it was published: 2013


In this stunning debut novel, Rebecca Walker turns her attention to the power of love and the limitations of the human heart. When Farida, a sophisticated college student, falls in love with Adé, a young Swahili man living on an idyllic island off the coast of Kenya, the two plan to marry and envision a simple life together—free of worldly possessions and concerns. But when Farida contracts malaria and finds herself caught in the middle of a civil war, reality crashes in around them. The lovers’ solitude is interrupted by a world in the throes of massive upheaval that threatens to tear them apart, along with all they cherish.

Haunting, exquisite, and certain to become a classic, Adé will stay with you long after you put it down. This is a timeless love story set perfectly, heartbreakingly, in our time.


There are basically two main characters, that of Farida and Ade. Farida is best described as worldly, modern, someone who feels isolated and someone who isn't certain of herself or of life, and she also comes from a very broken home. Neither by actions nor by narrative have I watched her change. Perhaps its because its written from her point of view, maybe that's why. Ade is traditional, devoted to his family, a sort of Renaissance man because he is capable of a lot, and he is also accepting of Farida's desires and weaknesses. Ade seems to be undergoing a change while being with Farida such as doing things he doesn't imagine himself doing.


Love can last forever


Its written in first person narrative from Farida's point of view of how she visits, meets and begins to live with Ade. The summary that the book promises happens in the last quarter of the book. I think I would have liked updates on what happened with some characters, but that hasn't happened unfortunately. The descriptions of the scenery reminded me of a flowing river but they seemed to be mere descriptions and devoid of life. There are also some words in there I found confusing.

Author Information:
(from TLC website)

Rebecca Walker is the author of the best-selling memoirs Black, White and Jewish and Baby Love, and editor of the anthology Black Cool. She is also the editor of the anthologies To Be Real, What Makes a Man, and One Big Happy Family. Her writing has appeared in Bookforum,  Newsweek, Glamour, Marie Claire, The Washington Post, Vibe, and Interview, among many other publications, and she blogs regularly for The Root. For more information, please visit www.rebeccawalker.com and follow her on Twitter: @rebeccawalker.


The parts that I found beautiful were the beginning and ending, how the author creates a cycle of memories of the lost love. Unfortunately the in-between wasn't as beautiful. I expected it to be a love story, which it was, but here are few things that I wasn't warned about; one is the hint of lesbian relationship between the main character and a friend of hers, as well as hints of group sex, then the constant comparison of how the main character fits in while the two travel to Africa while her friend has "Israelite" appearance, thus marking her as the other. I also swear that despite it being a novel, it reads too much like a memoir, with the author in the center. (Is it a coincidence that the character is described as Jewish and African-American and that the character's childhood matches that of the author? ) I also enjoyed learning something new and interesting about Africa and the culture that Farida finds herself in, but somehow the story seemed to lack something for me. In an odd way Ade by Rebecca Walker really reminded me of The North China by Marguerite Duras, but while I found The North China Lover strangely haunting and beautiful, Ade seemed to lack the transporting beauty that The North China Lover has employed.

This is for TLC Book Tour

Monday, October 28th:  Linus’s Blanket – Author Q&A and giveaway
Tuesday, October 29th:  Book Addiction
Wednesday, October 30th:  The Brain Lair
Monday, November 4th:  Bibliotica
Monday, November 4th:  Musings of a Bookish Kitty
Tuesday, November 5th:  Lena Sledge’s Blog
Wednesday, November 6th:  Bookalicious Mama
Thursday, November 7th:  Literanista
Friday, November 8th:  Fiction State of Mind
Monday, November 11th:  A Lovely Bookshelf on the Wall
Tuesday, November 12th:  Savvy Verse and Wit
Wednesday, November 13th:  Good Girl Gone Redneck
Thursday, November 14th:  I Choose the Sun
Monday, November 18th:  Shelf Pleasure - Author guest post
Tuesday, November 19th:  Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Wednesday, November 20th:  Giraffe Days
Thursday, November 21st:  Jenn’s Bookshelves
Monday, November 25th:  Sarah Says Read
Tuesday, November 26th:  Caribousmom

3 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

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