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Mama Namibia by Mari Serebrov

Mama Namibia (2013)

by Mari Serebrov

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Jahohora is a Herero girl on the brink of womanhood in German South West Africa. Kov is a Jewish German whose ambition is to become a military doctor to gain acceptance among his German peers. Their lives intersect during the Herero uprising and subsequent genocide in the early 20th century. The first-person narration alternates between Jahohora and Kov as both are uprooted from familiar comforts and the security of family and friends and thrust into the desert and the nearly waterless veld. Although they are on opposite sides of the conflict, Jahohora and Kov share a horror of German cruelty toward the Herero and other indigenous peoples.

It took me a long time to make my way through the book because of the intensity of the suffering of its characters. Starvation, torture, and massacres don't make pleasant reading. However, the book as a whole is more inspirational than depressing. It illustrates the difference that simple acts of kindness can make. Most readers of historical fiction, survival stories, coming of age stories, and stories with an African setting will find it worth the effort to seek this one out.

This review is based on an electronic advance reading copy provided by the publisher through LibraryThing's Early Reviewers program. ( )
  cbl_tn | Jun 26, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Great account of some the many "hardships" experienced by Southwest Africans. Some of the details were hard to read, but it was necessary to convey the essence of the story. I think everyone should read it at least once. ( )
  Lorelei84 | Jun 9, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The Herero people of South West Africa have a rich cultural heritage and traditions, many involving the cattle that has insured their survival. When Germany decides that it wishes to colonize the area, the Herero people are killed. Those that remained are forced into the desert to die or sent to starve in concentration camps. Jahohora is 12 when she is forced into the desert alone.

This was an absolutely fascinating book. I knew nothing about the Herero people or the genocide perpetrated against them. Jahohora was the perfect narrator to this horror. Her survival was miraculous. Overall, highly recommended. A must read. ( )
  JanaRose1 | May 19, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is an interesting look at life under German colonization in Africa during the early twentieth century. Although the book is fiction, it's based on the horrible treatment people were subjected to under the colonial system. The story will
Make readers cringe, but hopefully learn from the past.
  Jkoch33 | Apr 27, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Mother Namibia is about the shocking story of one young girl in Southwest Africa. Her tribe and family are pushed out of their land by German soldiers, and it gets worse from there. I had no idea the Africans were put into concentration camps. The story also has the point of view from a Jewish doctor who is saddened by what the Germans are doing. This is before World War II, and is a very interesting read! ( )
  lesindy | Apr 5, 2017 |
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Surviving on her own in the desert, 12-year-old Jahohora searches for her family while hiding from the German soldiers. It’s 1904, and Germany has claimed all of South West Africa. Since the Herero would rather fight than surrender their ancestral homes, Gen. von Trotha has declared that they all should be forced into the Omaheke to die. Wasting away in the desert, Jahohora is about to give up her desperate struggle for life when she finds hope in a simple act of kindness from a Jewish doctor serving in the German army.   [retrieved 7/17/17 from Amazon.com]
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