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When Kenya calling back...is a novel

Life of Esmeralda Lovatelli between Naivasha, Italy and Watamu

05-05-2021 by Freddie del Curatolo

Discovering Africa as a young woman for love, living its dreams and contradictions with the enthusiasm of someone exploring her own emotional sphere.
Becoming a wife and mother amidst the boundless views of the Rift Valley and the white beaches of Watamu's ocean. Then having to leave her and come to terms with growing up, the anxieties and responsibilities (and immense joy) of other children, the difficult relationship with her father and finally the longed-for return to the hills of Naivasha.
Such a life is already half a novel, without the need to call it an "autobiography".
And if it is told through the pages of a highly enjoyable and smoothly flowing book by a woman who knows how to lay bare heart and soul, reality and visions, awareness and instinct, then even better.
In "E l'Africa mi richiamò" (And Africa Called Me Back) the author Esmeralda Lovatelli recounts with extraordinary naturalness her own vicissitudes and those of her loved ones. It is not the classic African novel that makes John Barry's openings of strings in the theme of "Out of Africa" buzz in your head, but much more than one of the many hagio-autobiographies (even unbridled) of those who have had to deal with Kenya.
The childhood in Venice, the meeting with the great love of his life, an Italian who had already lived in Kenya, the "escape" to another world, the predisposition to know the splendours and miseries of Africa and not to be afraid of it even when you are, just like at the height of a falling in love.
The controversial but also special relationships with Kenyans and the harsh reality of those who approach social work.
"And Africa Called Me Back" is a book to be read in one go, which cannot help but make us love the author-protagonist (with a few digressions revealed at the end...) and refer to many images and considerations that those who have lived and understood a certain Kenya have in their baggage of emotions.
Perhaps with the only disappointment, for the insatiable, to have hoped for more "Blixenian" descriptions as in the most intense chapters.
But there is certainly time, as well as material, pen and set ready, for a sequel.
Because when you write from the heart, everything is easier and Kenya is always there, happy to be told again by sensitive voices like Esmeralda Lovatelli's.   
"And Africa called me back" Esmeralda Lovatelli, ed.Albatros pp. 226, € 14.90

TAGS: libri kenyalibri africanaivasha kenyawatamu kenyastorie kenyaitaliani kenya

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