A WREATH FOR UDOMO by Peter Abrahams


Email this review


The white man was generally considered the chief hurdle to African freedom by the young revolutionaries exiled to England. But when Udomo, whose fire and drive seemed to fit him to be the one to go out to Queensland to lead revolution, is himself the leader he finds there are two other enemies,- poverty and the traditions of his people. Udomo- back in London- had betrayed the white woman who loved him. For this some of their mutual friends could not forgive him. But in Africa, he learns to compromise with conditions with one sole goal in view. He sends for the others of the group, once the revolution has won control, politically, for the blacks. One of his comrades he returns to his mountain people to cope with some of the ritual problems, to lay the groundwork for education. Another -- whose first attempt at revolution had failed and whose life might be forfeit -- seeks out a secret way through the jungle, and launches a peaceful campaign of sabotage. Then Udomo is threatened with the end of his goal of economic recovery- and again he sacrifices the individual for the cause, or so he feels. But he reckons without the abiding sense of loyalty, and he dies at the hands of fanatics who cannot forgive. It is a powerful story, disturbing violent. It has its moments of tenderness in first one, then another love story. It has several unforgettable figures. But it wont be an easy book to place, for the moral code, the sexual code is remote from our understanding. Abrahams is not to be overlooked- as witness Mine Boy and Tell Freedom.

Pub Date: May 21st, 1956
Publisher: Knopf