4 out of 4 stars
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From Under A Mango Tree by Alan Fagan is a 428-page non-fiction novel that tells the story of a hero, Jan, and his life ordeals. This book includes the themes of unconditional love, betrayal, traditional beliefs, adventure, jungle life, and others.
This book was divided into three parts. The first part tells the story of Cornelius, Charlie, and their journey into Rhodesia from South Africa. They had gone along with other travelers and had established a community and a name for themselves. We were also told of Jan, Cornelius' son, Runako, his friend and sworn brother, Tonko and Shaka, the family's dogs. The other parts were about Jan, and his life as a ranger, taking care of the wildlife. He also had help in Humpy and Spike, his dog. Jan discovered that Runako was a poacher under the guise of the name Great Leopard. Jan had to choose between his friendship with Runako and his duty to humanity. Get a copy of this book to read up on the story.
I must say that this book is one of the best non-fiction novels I have ever read. It had a free-flowing plot and contained several flashbacks that were orderly. It also contained descriptive words that heightened the effects of imagery and made the narration more interesting. Given its setting in Rhodesia, now known as Zimbabwe, the author was considerate enough to include a glossary at the end of the book, which aided a better understanding of some words.
After finishing this book, I was filled with information and knowledge, such as the legend about God and Africa, the local method of finding the wind's direction, and why there are more black natives than white in present Zimbabwe. The book also addressed sensitive topics such as racial segregation, discrimination, and man's wickedness.
It was very easy to like Jan. I admired his courage, boldness, perseverance, and wisdom. His preference of the bush and village life to the city reminded me of the poem Piano and Drums. This book showcased the life and trials of a man trying to preserve his culture and the environment he was raised. Despite how serious this subject was, the book was quite hilarious. Spike's loss of interest when they tried to get the maiden to pat his head, the time Gert threatened Courtney about bringing Jan back to the meeting, the story of Bourne and others made me bust out in laughter.
The book was professionally edited, as I only encountered a few minor errors that did not disturb my reading process. The author did an excellent job in this chronicle. I found nothing to dislike in the book. Therefore, I rate From Under A Mango Tree four out of four stars. I recommend this book to lovers of adventures and biographies. I walked out of this book feeling satisfied.
From Under A Mango Tree
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