Review: Africa's Unfinished Symphony by Lucia Mann

Title: Africa's Unfinished Symphony
Author: Lucia Mann
Publication Date: July 16th, 2014
Publisher: Grassroots Publishing Group Inc.
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 190
Source: Paperback from Publisher


Synopsis (from Goodreads): 
A Witch Doctor's Power and His Ancient Tribal Ways Cruelly Collide with the Force and Authority of Modern Africa.

While the tale of South Africa in the wake of World War II is riveting, violent, and cruel, it also is brimming with stories of kindness, compassion, and courage. Africa's Unfinished Symphony highlights commanding characters who not only bring haunting racial clashes to life but also convey the intense conflicts that existed between archaic customs and modern influences. You will be captivated as you follow the convoluted path of Farida of the ancients battling to become Bertha of the modern world. But are the outcomes of her struggles the best results for her and her beloved Africa? This book will immerse you in historic African themes that will jolt you out of complacency and into compassion.

Lucia Mann is a former British journalist and the author of two previous African-set novels devoted to slavery and racial prejudice, Beside an Ocean of Sorrow and Rented Silence (CBC Book Award winner). Born in British Colonial South Africa in the wake of WWII, Mann saw and felt firsthand the pain and suffering of those who were treated as inferior because of the color of their skin. She currently resides in British Columbia, Canada, where she is fine-tuning her next novel, The Smoldering Fire of the Unforgiving.
Visit www.LuciaMann.com for more information on how you can help alleviate the scourge of modern-day slavery.

        Wow. What a tragically beautiful book. If you aren't aware of the volume of modern-day slavery, this will open your eyes. Mann could have easily written some kind of biography or memoir, but instead she took the elements of history and intertwined them with literature. We experience the struggles and conflicts of the people of Africa, as well as the victories. I also thought Mann did an exceptional job of portraying the causatum of the experiences Frida faced throughout the story. I was glad the ending was hopeful, though.

Organizations and causes like the A21 Campaign, Invisible Children, and the ones listed below are out there for you to become aware, involved, and show support for those trapped in present-day slavery. I follow several of these campaigns and every day I see reports of people acquiring freedom and it is such a beautiful thing. 

The only thing I would really complain about are some technical issues. Namely, the change in point-of-view. It got a little confusing because there were so many characters switching to their own perspective at one time. I had to reread paragraphs to understand who was thinking or speaking. Some parts also lacked a bit of consistency, but I still think the content was good. 

Please take time to visit the project links provided on Lucia Mann's website. To make things easier, I've provided some of them here:

Rise Above Hate & Anger – www.riseabovehateandanger.com
Beside An Ocean Of Sorrow – www.besideanoceanofsorrow.com
Angel’s Care Centre, South Africa – angelscare.org.za
Modern-Day Slavery Reporting Centre – www.mdsrc.org
STOP Human Trafficking and Slavery – Sign the Online Petition

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