Ancestor Stones

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Atlantic Monthly Press, 2006 - Fiction - 317 pages
6 Reviews
The author of the rapturously acclaimed memoir The Devil That Danced on the Water seamlessly turns her hand to fiction and delivers a novel that is a lush and beautiful portrait of several generations of African women. In Ancestor Stones , a young woman from West Africa, who has lived in England for many years, returns after years of civil war. The family's coffee plantation has been placed in her hands, and she turns to her aunts—women who were mysterious and a bit intimidating to her younger self—who begin to tell their stories. They are timeless tales of rivalrous co-wives, patriarchal society, and old religions challenged by Islamic and Christian incursions; they are modern stories of European-owned mining companies, the repressive influence of mission schools, corrupt elections, and the postcolonial African elite. Through their voices a family history interwoven with the history of a country emerges—one of a society both ancient and modern, of a family of strong women refusing to live as second-class citizens. Powerful and sensuously written, Ancestor Stones is a wonderful achievement that recalls The God of Small Things and The Joy Luck Club , and establishes Forna as a gifted novelist.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - shawnd - LibraryThing

The book tells the life stories of women in the Kholifa family, across multiple generations and 70+ years. While the book includes a family tree diagram in the opening, the book can be read without it ... Read full review


User Review  - Kirkus

A British writer casts back nostalgically to the stories of her West African female ancestors to evoke lyrically the lost village traditions of her family.Abie, a wife and mother of West African ... Read full review

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