Nowhere in Africa is the extraordinary tale of a Jewish family who flees the Nazi regime in 1938 for a remote farm in Kenya. Abandoning their once-comfortable existence in Germany, Walter Redlich, his wife Jettel, and their five-year-old daughter, Regina, each deal with the harsh realities of their new life in different ways. Attorney Walter is resigned to working the farm as a caretaker; pampered Jettel resists adjustment at every turn; while the shy yet curious Regina immediately embraces the country - learning the local language and customs, and finding a friend in Owuor, the farm's cook. As the war rages on the other side of the world, the family’s relationships with their strange environment become increasingly complicated as Jettel grows more self-assured and Walter more haunted by the life they left behind.
In 1946, with the war over, Regina's fondest dream comes true when her brother Max is born. Walter's decision, however, to return to his homeland to help rebuild a new Germany puts his family into turmoil again.
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I'm Audible's first Editor-at-Large, the host of In Bed with Susie Bright -- and a longtime author, editor, journo, and bookworm. I listen to audio when I'm cooking, playing cards, knitting, going to bed, waking up, driving, and putting other people's kids to bed! My favorite audiobooks, ever, are: "True Grit" and "The Dog of the South."
This autobiographical novel operates on several levels: a holocaust memoir a thrilling adventure, and a family drama.
Driven from Nazi Germany to Kenya, the family must adjust, with varying levels of success, to life in a completely foreign land. They were glad to be safe from the Nazis, but now had to contend with the racism and anti-semitism of their host nation, and the English colonizers, and also the guilt and worry of what was happening in Europe.
Family dynamics, and the horror and confusion of displacement, are at the heart of this audiobook. The father's haunting guilt, the mother's resistance to change, daughter Regina's embrace of her new land. Africa, from the viewpoint of Regina, seems almost magical and full of possibility, but also completely destabilizing.
Narrator, Max Roll has a wide variety of accents and personalities to contend with, and he does a superb job of making each voice distinct and alive. He brings pathos to the reading that adds tremendously to the story.
This is more than an autobiography told in words but a book told in feelings, thoughts, ideas shared through the senses. The similes, metaphors and personifications create an atmosphere that allows the reader to feel the experiences of the characters. It is a beautiful novel that can be enjoyed even better the second reading.
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