The Voluptuous Delights of Peanut Butter and Jam Paperback
Nyree and Cia live on a remote farm in the east of what was Rhodesia in the late 1970s.
Beneath the dripping vines of the Vumba rainforest, and under the tutelage of their heretical grandfather, theirs is a seductive childhood laced with African paganism, mangled Catholicism and the lore of the Brothers Grimm.
Their world extends as far as the big fence, erected to keep out the 'Terrs' whom their father is off fighting.
The two girls know little beyond that until the arrival from the outside world of 'the bastard', their orphaned cousin Ronin, who is to poison their idyll for ever.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 256 pages
- Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
- Publication Date: 05/03/2009
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9781844084685
Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.
Review by DubaiReader
This was a beautiful depiction of life between Ian Smith's declaration of independance and the eviction of white farmers from their land.Told from the point of view of 8 yr old Nyree, who roams the area freely, with her younger sister Cia. She lives with her mother and cantankerous Grandfather while her father is off fighting against the supporters of Mugabe and Nkomo (or Terrs, as they are known by the whites).I loved the descriptions of day to day life in former Rhodesia, the gradual decay of the old house and the interactions beween the whites and blacks (accurate, if despicable).The bond between Nyree and Cia was palpable, they were excellently drawn characters. But I did not feel this about their evil cousin Ronin who seemed to hover at the edges, ouzing evil but with not a lot of character back-up, or much in the way of explanation for his behaviour.What brought the book down for me was the need to constantly check back to the glossary for the translations of the Africaans and Zulu words which slowed my reading considerably. Plus, the end of the book seemed unnecessary and unsatisfactory and, to be honest, a bit unbelievable.
Review by Staramber
I enjoyed the story telling. The narration, for the most part, is excellent. But what it is telling is unfortunately tired. A family shocked by an outside influence isn't new. No new aspect of this is explored, nothing shocking or stunning or anything. The only difference is it's Rhodesian setting and hearing history related through the voices of white Africans isn't new either.Don't get me wrong, it was a nice read but if you ask me a month from now what I thought about it I'm just going to look at you blankly and shrug.
Review by Scrabblenut
This book was well-written and a fabulous look into a very different part of the world at a tumultuous time in Rhodesia's history. Unfortunately, the addition of evil cousin Ronin into the story spoiled it for me. I don't enjoy reading about psychopaths and the book will be memorable but for the wrong reasons, with some very disturbing images left in my mind that I would rather not have read about. The fact that the 8-year-old narrator, Nyree, felt she could do nothing until it was way too late just made me feel frustrated. So although it was an excellent and interesting story, it really was not to my tastes, unfortunately.