“People are wrong when they talk of love at first sight. It is neither love nor lust. No as she walks away from you, what you feel is loss. A premonition of loss.”

Genre: Fiction
Pages: 464
Published: April 5th, 2010
Rate: 3.5 ⭐⭐⭐
Goodreads Synopsis
In contemporary Sierra Leone, a devastating civil war has left an entire populace with secrets to keep. In the capital hospital, a gifted young surgeon is plagued by demons that are beginning to threaten his livelihood. Elsewhere in the hospital lies a dying man who was young during the country’s turbulent postcolonial years and has stories to tell that are far from heroic.

As past and present intersect in the buzzing city, these men are drawn unwittingly closer by a British psychologist with good intentions, and into the path of one woman at the center of their stories.

A work of breathtaking writing and rare wisdom, The Memory of Love seamlessly weaves together two generations of African life to create a story of loss, absolution, and the indelible effects of the past—and, in the end, the very nature of love.

My Take
Originally I had given The Memory of Love 3 stars but after so much thought, I added the point 5. I had a few false starts with this book and at some point I thought I’d have to dnf it. I’m so glad I stuck through though.

The Memory of Love reads like a love letter as Aminatta writes with such tenderness. Her writing is lyrical and beautiful, I was awed. Aminatta Forna’s vivid description made me feel like I was there, present with the characters.

The book has a dual narration between 1969 and present day. There’s a certain vulnerability in how the story is told, as we learn about the Sierra Leone civil war. Quite engaging and quite evocative.

“We are like caged pets, we elderly. Like mice or hamsters, constantly reordering our small spaces, taking turns going round & round on the wheel to stop ourselves from going mad.”

I love how the characters in this book are written. Both the main character and the secondary characters are brought together to bring out one well told story. I got attached very quickly, if I’m being honest. Having them live through the war and reading through their realities was quite insightful. I loved it.

The Memory of Love is a great book that I’m so glad I got to read. I actually highly recommend it especially if you’re looking for African Literature/ Fiction.

Have you read this book? What did you think about it?