Inheritance is a powerful heartfelt tale of family
intrigue and its devastating long term effects. Set in a
troubled colonial Rhodesia in the late sixties and early
seventies as seen through the eyes of one Amelia Gruber.
Though born into a wealthy family with all the
privileges that money and her race bestow, when we first
meet Amelia she is a somewhat awkward adolescent. This
soon changes as she is flung into an uncertain future
when her father is bankrupted and dies shortly after. It
is through these dramatic changes that Amelia, who far
from being defeated instead blossoms into a strong woman
who takes control of her life; and along the way,
discovers and is strong enough to deal with the secrets
of her family’s past.
bright and dashing lawyer Peter Mudondo boldly
championing the victims of illegal re-settlement, to the
calm and supportive though private Sisi and downright
slimy piece of work Bruce Forbes. Each of the characters
Amelia encounters in her life changes her in the way
people whom we are passionate about, in love and hate,
do. In this Mubvakure rings a golden note of a gentle
and compassionate observation, understanding, and
portrayal of the complexity of human relations. How
people in our lives and the way we interact with them
mould us into who we are.
Mubvakure’s second novel and she has a firm yet very
empathetic voice as she plough’s wholeheartedly into a
setting and perspective that few writers today can deal
with; without becoming too embroiled in the politics and
injustices of this period. Mubvakure’s colonial Rhodesia
on the brink of massive change is a character unto
itself in the way it influences and in many ways governs
their actions and thereby their lives. But never does it
overtly intrude, though these elements are certainly
there and accurately portrayed, her principle focus
nobly remains within the rich lives of her characters.
Inheritance, Mubvakure also tackles many of the issue’s
of that era and some which still persist, from woman’s
rights and domestic violence to poverty and racial
injustice, but always without malice or a sense of
finger pointing. Instead she skillfully employ’s these
issues to both highlight them and to drive plot and
character arcs. Indeed one can say for sure Amelia’s
Inheritance is a primarily a character driven novel.
Zimbabwean writers eagerly diving into stories set in
and of contemporary Zimbabwe with its instability and
upheavals, Amelia’s Inheritance is surely a breath of
fresh air. She has a wonderful easy going style that
invites the reader onward and envelopes you in her world
as you laugh and mourn together with her characters.
There is no literary pretension on her behalf; only a
good story well told that leaves you happy to have taken
the time to experience it.