ARC Review: Hope is Our Only Wing by Rutendo Tavengerwei | Hope in Times of Unrest

hope is our only wing

“Justice? Whose justice? They kept us in pens like animals while they took all the good land and kept us from buying any of it back!”

Hope Is Our Only Wing is a YA novel set in Zimbabwe about grief for a father, a familiar life, for a country lost to corruption, I can’t explain how deeply this book touched me. I was thrown back into 2008, the food shortages, the load-shedding, the insane price hikes, the teachers’ strikes, the endless queues for bread and maize meal, the hopefulness and ignorance of youth. And now in 2019, we’re back to the same problems.

hope is our only wing


Hope Is Our Only Wing
Rutendo Tavengerwei
YA Contemporary
Soho Teen
10 September 2019


Rutendo Tavengerwei has crafted a brilliant YA novel about Shamiso, a Zimbabwean teenager returning from Britain after her father, a political journalist’s suspicious death, to a country she left when she was five. She feels like an alien, not belonging amongst her peers. Her life has suffered a drastic change and she’s not coping very well. She meets Tanyaradwa who’s hiding her own secrets but shuns her friendship olive branch because everyone leaves in the end.

“The hope was there, but like a dying fire it needed to be gently blown into.”

Hope Is Our Only Wing is an amazing and important story especially now that Zimbabwe is going back into the 2008 economic and political crisis. But it’s also a story about hope and friendship. I know a lot of Zimbabweans have lost hope, especially with last year’s elections and the current state of the economy but hope is all we have.

I don’t know how to write this review and separate my Zimbabweaness from the reviewer because Zimbabwe is in me and my heart is always breaking when I think of my country, my home. All I can say is that this book is reverent and it’s for everyone. Don’t look away from it because it’s set in a different place, read it because it’s set in a different place and teaches you about different experiences.

cherry blossom page break

Have you read this book? What’s your favourite book about your country?

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