I have read Homegrown Love a little bit more than once or twice or thrice. And that’s not because you can get through it in under an hour, but because it is the kind of book that is so brutally soft it reads like a journal.
I was curious about the choice of the title and how a book that is co-authored reads. If I am not over assuming, Elma and Evelyn(the authors) are sisters so even before I started I was ‘aww-ing’ and ‘ah-ing’. Forgive my very uncreative vocabulary. Were they going to talk about some kind of love that was nurtured at home? Surprisingly, my answer to that would be yes. Read acknowledgements to catch my drift. (I’m I the only one who reads acknowledgements, ngu preface what what in books? Very well then.), and I say surprisingly because there is nothing whatsoever about love from home. Again, I am over assuming.
Still on reading every word in the book, Evelyn and Elma put the usual disclaimer that it is a fictionalised biography but still go on to say it is up to the reader to realise what is what and who is who. Ahem *sips tea*. In my trivial little mind, I decided the stories were real(I mean like real real) and oh, how very authentic. Apart from the fact that words move me to tears more easily than chapambalasi(we all know this, yes?), I have nothing against this book. But what I have against it is that my poor little tear ducts were harrowed dry.
In the first part of the book, authored by Evelyn, is an epistemology of one heartbreak after another. Different accounts of dealing with this heartbreak in whatever form. At some point, I needed to take a break myself. Like woah, okay okayokay. Deep breath. And this is because it does the job of dusting your memory shelves like an old broom (You know, old brooms know all the corners kinda thing? You dodged English class, didn’t you?).
The second part of the book, authored by Elma, is a collection of such emotionally intense stories. I particularly liked Lacerations- Where Did My Love Go? Where she tells the story of a mother who is just not handling the whole parenthood experience the way she’s ‘supposed’ to. I was thinking how relevant! How many new parents go through this but can’t talk about it? It’s just painfully beautiful.
Overall, Homegrown Love is the book you should read with a bowl of ice cream and all sorts of sugars to keep your emotions in check.
This review was written, for Turn The Page, by Esther Mirembe.