The Memory of Love by Aminatta Forna

a nutshell: set in postwar Freetown, Sierra Leone’s capital, this is a vast & raw novel that delves into grief, loss, love – and the complex psychological struggles that often haunt survivors of civil war

a line“I fall down, I get up”

an image: looking up at a commercial airliner passes overhead from one country to another, Kai likens himself to a man drowning as a ship sails by; he wonders at the passengers’ ignorance of the self-devouring nation below while they drink wine and summon the cabin crew

a thought: though I found the first fifty or so pages languid/disengaging, The Memory of Love then grew on me immensely, yet I never shook off my dislike for the main characters Elias & Adrian (the latter is a Brit who’s loath to consider the idea that he’s neither wanted nor needed in Sierra Leone)

a fact: many of the novel’s characters are suffering from various conditions of post traumatic stress; in particular the book taught me about dissociative fugue – a disorder often precipitated by trauma, characterised by reversible amnesia for memories, personality, identity

 

want to read The Memory of Love? visit here

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