Reviews for House of Stone: The True Story of a Family Divided in War-Torn Zimbabwe, by Christina Lamb

lizardreads's review
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1.0

Parts of this book had been assigned in a high school history class, and I hung onto it thinking someday I would get to the rest of it. Having just finished it 12 years later, it doesn't really seem worth the wait.

This is a deeply flawed book. Lamb alternates between the perspectives of a white (colonizer) farmer and their Black Zimbabwean nanny. The alternating chapters detailing their very different upbringings are interspersed with a mostly uncited telling of modern Zimbabwean politics. Lamb glosses over a lot of just horrific racism perpetuated by white residents, and seemed to try to contrast it as equally bad to the anti-white rhetoric and actions under Mugabe, which just didn't feel right. Although it tries to tell "two sides of a story," I think it is still very Eurocentric. The book abruptly ends without ever articulating a clear perspective on Zimbabwe's colonial/post-colonial history - which - I don't think Lamb would necessarily be the right author to take on, it just underscores how inadequate this book is at conveying the context of the story.

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