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Unfeeling by Ian Holding
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Unfeeling (edition 2008)

by Ian Holding (Author)

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773260,526 (4.05)8
Davey is in the attic when the militia comes. At 16, he's almost the man his father wants him to be, and almost the child he was. Locked in shock, he is barely aware that, beneath him, his parents have been murdered and his family's farm, Edenfields, "reclaimed". The neighbouring farmers - his parents's closest friends - take him in and try to care for him, try to bring him back into their community of normality: the club, the church and after a few weeks, his boarding school. They try to cope. But Davey is on a different path. One night he escapes from his school and embarks on a harrowing, terrifying journey across Africa, home to Edenfields, looking for redemption.… (more)
Member:donerj
Title:Unfeeling
Authors:Ian Holding (Author)
Info:Key Porter Books (2008), 256 pages
Collections:downtown, Your library
Rating:
Tags:fiction, downtown

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Unfeeling by Ian Holding

Africa (354)
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strongly written showing a love of the African landscape. Novel captures the moral and socially complex issues of the farning community in africa. Davey comes back to Edenfiled to avenge his parents murder that he had witnessed. ( )
  Smits | Jul 2, 2012 |
Unfeeling is the story of 16-year-old Davey Baker, who witnesses his parents' murder. The government of the newly-independent African country he lives in has implemented a policy of farm reclamation from its white citizens. After witnessing the crime, Davey has to come to terms with it, as does the community of white farmers who rally around him.

This is a well written, fast flowing novel that really hits you with the senseless violence both black and white citizens are forced to live with. It is shocking, and touching at the same time.

It is written from the perspective of the white farmers; while I sympathized with them for the loss of farms they had owned for generations, I was also disturbed by the racist views they held. ( )
  LynnB | Mar 8, 2008 |
Reading "Unfeeling" by Ian Holding awoke feelings of dread, fear, anger, pain and nostalgia within me. It felt a bit like being at a horror movie where I could only bear to watch through my fingers.
This novel is by a young teacher who lives and works in Harare. The story is set in an unnamed African country, but it is very obviously Zimbabwe.

A 16 year-old boy is the sole survivor of a brutal attack on his family’s farm in which both his parents have been hacked to death. The farm, the largest in the region, is highly productive and supports a community of local workers but it has been scheduled for land reclamation by the government. It had originally been carved from virgin bush by Davey’s great-grandfather 100 years previously. The neighbouring farmer and his wife, are close family friends and they take Davey in. The local farming community is shocked and horrified by the attack, but cannot bear to deal with Davey’s pain and guilt. There is an underlining feeling that it would have been better if he had died too. Within a fortnight of the attack Davey is sent back to his boarding school (most farmers’ children in central Africa have to attend boarding schools as the distances are so great that local schools are not feasible). Back at school he struggles with his grief and develops a desire to avenge his parents. Eventually he runs away from the school and makes his way back to the farm, a dangerous journey which connects him with a variety people who view what is happening in the country in different ways. The couple who are in loco parentis rescue him again, and are under the impression he has done something terrible to the political fat cat who has appropriated the farm, other local white farmer join forces to try and cover up what he has done in case it rebounds on them all however it turns out that something very different has happened, and the reader is left with a picture of both the white and black communities awaiting the inevitable with foreboding.

What a waste, what devastation, what starvation, alienation, disease and poverty have followed from the deluded, grasping policies of Mugabwe and his henchmen. My heart bleeds for Zimbabwe and its people. ( )
1 vote herschelian | Oct 9, 2006 |
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The boy with emerald eyes everyone calls Davey sits on the veranda of Aunt Marsha's farmhouse, hugging his knees in the searing morning sun.
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Davey is in the attic when the militia comes. At 16, he's almost the man his father wants him to be, and almost the child he was. Locked in shock, he is barely aware that, beneath him, his parents have been murdered and his family's farm, Edenfields, "reclaimed". The neighbouring farmers - his parents's closest friends - take him in and try to care for him, try to bring him back into their community of normality: the club, the church and after a few weeks, his boarding school. They try to cope. But Davey is on a different path. One night he escapes from his school and embarks on a harrowing, terrifying journey across Africa, home to Edenfields, looking for redemption.

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