Tuesday 27 May 2008

Fascinating Memoir

Finished May 26
Twenty Chickens for a Saddle by Robyn Scott
Robyn Scott had a rather peripatetic childhood and this memoir covers the ages from six to adulthood when she was in Botswana. Her parents had both grown up there and came back with her and her two younger siblings when she was almost seven. Her father worked as a doctor, travelling to small village clinics, at first by air and then by car. Her mother homeschooled the children until high school, when they went to boarding school (her and her sister in neighbouring Zimbabwe and her brother in neighbouring South Africa). At first they lived near her paternal grandfather and his second wife, in a shared yard. The children spent a great deal of time exploring their environment, learning about the plants and animals that surrounded them. They also learned about the people, the culture and the superstitions, mainly through the contact with her father in his capacity as a doctor. When they move to their own farm, near the border with South Africa, she encounters a different environment and a different mindset as a lot of the neighbours there are Afrikaans. During her years growing up, AIDS became a prominent feature in Africa, and because of her father's profession she was very aware of the issues.
This memoir was absolutely fascinating in its glimpse into another culture and way of living and I found it engaging, humourous and enlightening.
Highly recommended.

1 comment:

  1. This has become my favorite non-fiction/memoir. I have now read it three times. When Robyn came to my store to sign copies of her book on her U.S. tour, she also wrote a great guest blog piece for me. You can find it here.