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The Theory of flight {Book Review}

Author: Siphiwe Gloria Ndlovu
Publication year: 2018
Genre: Fiction


Lockdown provided me with time to return to my first love, reading. Not just any reading but reading novels and getting that much needed escape. Each year I challenge myself to read a certain number of books. Books from different genres and find a new author I have not read before. That is how I came across Simphiwe Gloria Ndlovu’s theory of flight.


On the third of September, not so long ago, something truly wondrous happened on the Beauford Farm and Estate. At the moment of her death, Imogen Zula Nyoni – Genie – was seen to fly away on a giant pair of silver wings …’
Said to have hatched from a golden egg, Genie spends her childhood playing in a field of sunflowers as her country reawakens after a fierce civil war.But Genie’s story stretches back much further. It tells of her grandfather, who quenched his wanderlust by walking into the Indian Ocean. Her father, who spent countless hours building model aeroplanes to catch up with him. It is the tale of her mother, a singer self-styled after Dolly Parton with a dream of travelling to Nashville.Siphiwe Gloria Ndlovu Book | Penguin Random House South Africa

About the author

Siphiwe Gloria Ndlovu is a writer, filmmaker and academic who holds a PhD from Stanford University, as well as master’s degrees in African studies and Film. She has written, directed and edited the award-winning short film Graffiti.


Final Thoughts

With the lightest of touches, a cast of unforgettable characters, and moments of surreal beauty, The Theory of Flight  sketches decades of history in this unnamed Southern African nation.I haven’t been emotionally invested in fictional characters in a while, this was a welcome change. I found the pace a bit different, and I was torn about the movement of chapters through different time periods. However in the end it all tied up. The book doesn’t dwell solely on the civil war but looks at it’s after effects. The triumphs and the personal losses experienced by the characters. Many different  topics are covered, I enjoyed that as it gave the book texture and depth.I found myself grieving with the characters and grieving after having finished the novel. They were part of my life for a good week. Have you read the book if yes please let me know what you thought of it in the comments. Do not forget to subscribe to the blog it is free 😊.

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