Based on true events, a story about the powerful journey of resilience, courage, and hope of young Obulejo, striving to escape war-torn Sudan and heal from the wounds of societal prejudice.
Set during the time of the second Sudanese civil war, the story immediately throws readers into the fracas as Obulejo is roughly woken to the sound of guns. Before the first chapter ends, readers understand that Obulejo and his family are on the run for their lives, fleeing the generic enemy Rebels, a fictional proxy of Sudan’s People’s Revolutionary Army. The prospect of Obulejo’s becoming a child soldier for the Rebels looms large. No matter how dangerous and terrifying the road is ahead, he must find his way out, and that takes him through neighboring Uganda and Kenya. This account shares roots with the story of co-author Enadio, a Ma’di man who spent years in refugee camps before finding sanctuary status in Tasmania. Unfortunately, the novel takes on many of the oft-criticized tropes of narratives of African conflict. Horrendous violence is ever threatening; a benevolent, religious NGO works to help the Sudanese, mired in cycles of tribal violence, learn peaceful ways. This is in no way to discount Enadio’s lived experience, but readers introduced to the long-standing Sudanese conflict solely through this text will not find needed context and complexity.
While well-meaning, this does little to offer any compelling alternative to the overpublished genre of Anglophone narratives of African conflict written from outside the continent. (Historical fiction. 13-17)