Sunday, 13 April 2014

Book Club #3 - We Need New Names

I wasn't sure I would review We Need New Names on the ol' blog, but here I am, typing away... We're friends here, so I won't lie. Short listed for the Man Booker Prize, I wanted to read this book so I could look a bit intellegent. It is one of the shorter stories that made the list, so it seemed like a good one to start off with. Plus the cover is super eye catching and that really pulled me in.

That's a pretty cover, amiright? Also, yes I know, you've seen this insta-pic before.
We Need New Names follows the life of Darling and her friends in Paradise, a village in Zimbebawe. From the very start, you know that this is a story of a broken village, a broken family and a broken childhood. And really, it is a horrific story. By the second chapter, you realise how awful it is for the children and it really shocked me. This novel is so graphic, and as it's from Darling's point of view, it is all the more harrowing. It definitely shocked the lady reading over my shoulder as we pulled out from the train station, let me tell you.

 I am not sure if We Need New Names is semi-autobiographic or not, or if stories of something similar have been passed around, but I really hope not. When I would get home - feeling a bit grumpy after having my train delayed - and read a chapter, I instantly felt like an ungrateful swine. And I basically hated people.

One thing I didn't like about this - apart from how it made me feel as a privelidged white person - is that there no real speech marks. The children often play a game in which they pretend to be someone else, and this gets really confusing after a while. At times, I also didn't know whether the dialoged had stopped or if Darling was talking to herself, as she often does. 

A really gripping read, but not one for the lighthearted! Let me know if you're read this

Chelsea xo


  1. Oh man, I was considering giving this a read, I'm not too sure now. I don't cope well with stories that make me feel bad haha.
    Kloe xx

    1. It's a really good novel, so you should definitely read it - I pretty much hate people anyway so I was fine by the end ;) xx

  2. Interesting! I downloaded this onto my nook in August for my holiday and I just couldn't get into it at all. Perhaps it was too hard going for a relaxing holiday in Crete! Maybe i'll pick it up again and try again.


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