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'How Beautiful We Were' by Imbolo Mbue

Hosted by the Consul of the Global Book Club Group
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Took place 2 months ago
Fri 20 May 02:30 - 04:00

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*** REVISED TIME ***

Set in the fictional African village of Kosawa, 'How Beautiful We Were' tells the story of a people living in fear amidst environmental degradation wrought by an American oil company.

Pipeline spills have rendered farmlands infertile. Children are dying from drinking toxic water. Promises of clean-up and financial reparations to the villagers are made—and ignored. The country’s government, led by a brazen dictator, exists to serve its own interest. Left with few choices, the people of Kosawa decide to fight back. Their struggle would last for decades and come at a steep price.

Told through the perspective of a generation of children and the family of a girl named Thula who grows up to become a revolutionary, 'How Beautiful We Were' is a masterful exploration of what happens when the reckless drive for profit, coupled with the ghost of colonialism, comes up against one community’s determination to hold onto its ancestral land and a young woman’s willingness to sacrifice everything for the sake of her people’s freedom. (Goodreads synopsis)