Running With Mother- Christopher Mlalazi

Review by Dakarai Jane

 

Heart wrenching.

These are the words that came to mind when I was reading. I didn’t have the luxury to be able to do anything else but absorb what I was reading in Mlalazi’s book. While the story itself is fictional, the events truly did occur. It is well written and incredibly easy to read. He captures the voice of the young girl so well that it feels like she is telling you her story personally.

The story is told through the eyes of fourteen-year-old Rudo as she, her mother, her aunt, and her five-month-old baby cousin all try to make their way to safety away from their village which has been destroyed. Having witnessed her friends being stripped naked and taken as she watched, and hearing about how her father had been beaten and captured, she struggles to understand and come to terms with is going on. In an ideal world this shouldn’t have been her burden— it shouldn’t have been anyone’s.

Furthermore, the most painful part of this is that those she is hoping are coming to help are those responsible for traumatic experiences they are going through, yet the history shows it all stemmed from a game of revenge. It’s a psychological game with no happy ending and fatal results. It really made me wonder where the humanity in the human race was; it is difficult to imagine us inflicting such atrocities on one another however, in truth, we do this even today.

I highly recommend this book and encourage us to read stories told through different perspectives of any story. This particular one is a story that doesn’t take sides but shows how it is when you are nothing more than a citizen in a country at war with itself.