A timely exploration of power, revolution, and survival…
Hallowes’s impressively crafted debut installment in the Winds of Change trilogy takes readers into 1950s Kenya during the Mau Mau insurrection, narrating the ups and downs of one man’s journey to love and fulfillment. It is 1950 in Kenya, and the Mau Mau insurrection is in full swing. Struggling to build a place of his own in the raw African bush, Peter Lawrence has no idea that the Kikuyu men who work for him are, in fact, secret members of the Mau-Mau determined to take back their country. When Peter’s wife Jenny dies in an unfortunate accident, his life comes to a standstill. But the lovely Rafiki, a Kikuyu woman, comes into Peter’s life, bringing the promise of love and happiness. Shunned by his own people, Peter must find his own way if he wants a second chance at love. Blending intimate, fictional events with real-life history, Hallowes beautifully delves into the complex questions of love, Inter-racial dynamics, freedom, slavery, change, and colonial attitude. The book is as much a love story as it’s a poignant examination of personal and political revolution. Over the course of the novel, Peter loses his wife to a tragic accident and finds love again in Rafiki; has brushes with the secret members of the Mau-Mau determined to take back their country while getting ostracized by his people of own community; defy societal expectations; and, most of all, courageously face the impossible hurdles life throws his way. Hallowes deftly peels away layers of Peter’s life, revealing how hard it has been for him to remain steadfast and strong in the face of public scorn and pressure. The brave, stubborn yet vulnerable Rafiki remains intriguing throughout the narrative. The secondary cast is equally compelling. Hallowes skillfully captures the landscape and beauty of the region and its two different worlds, the fraught one of the Kikuyu struggles for freedom and the more discreet but still intricate one of Peter, Rafiki, and others. The pacing is measured, prose crisp, and storyline intriguing. There are a few overwritten passages, but on the whole the story remains thoroughly convincing. Along the way, Hallowes captures the diverse cultural milieu of 1950s Kenya with compelling detail while delving into oppression, liberty, poverty, duty, justice, mortality, and hope amid brutality. The result is a rich and engrossing book filled with memorably drawn characters. A must-read historical tale.
No Happy Valley: Shattered Colonial Dreams
(Winds of Change Trilogy Book 1)
By Guy Hallowes
Pub date August 1, 2021
Price $5.94 (USD) Paperback, $0.00 Kindle edition