The Cry of the Go-Away Bird, Paperback Book
3.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


Elise loves the farm that is her home. There is always tea in the silver teapot, gin and tonics are served on the veranda and her days are spent listening to stories of spirits and charms told by her nanny, Beauty.

As a young white girl growing up in Zimbabwe, her life is idyllic.

However, this dream-world of her childhood cannot last.

As Elise gets older, her eyes are opened to the complexities of adult life, both through the arrival of her step-father, and through her growing understanding of the tensions in Zimbabwean society.

As the privileged existence of the white farmers begins to crumble into anarchy and farm invasions begin, Elise is forced to confront difficult choices and the ancient unforgiving ghosts of the past.


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'We were Whites and nothing else...We huddled together with the rest of the community like pale maggots in a dusty corpse', January 14, 2015This review is from: The Cry of the Go-Away Bird (Paperback)Very well written account of the experience of white farmers in Mugabe's Zimbabwe, told from the perspective of a young teenage girl. Narrator Elise has never given much thought to being an 'ethnic minority' - her family are on good terms with their servants, the boss chats with his workers in their language - even her best schoolfriend is black.But the author does an excellent job of cranking up the tension as things start to change: from her stepfather's initial dismissing of events as 'just a lot of spear rattling before the election', to Elise's awareness that 'Living in Zimbabwe was like having a demanding younger brother or sister. it was loud, disruptive and badly behaved. It...ruined family holidays and dinner conversations, kept everyone up at night worrying about its future.'Quick but powerful read.