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All That It Ever Meant

"From London to Zimbabwe, this dazzling coming-of-age tale of tangled family dynamics, loss and grief tingles with road-trip transformations and the soulful magic of love."

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LoveReading Says

LoveReading Says

Ablaze with authentic truths on the nature of grief, and how it is to live between two cultures, Blessing Musariri’s All That It Ever Meant sweeps readers into the heart-breaking, stirring story of a girl’s journey through loss. A journey that takes her from London to Zimbabwe, from darkness to light, with a spirit guide helping her navigate the rocky path. 

“When someone dies, it’s the death of everything the way you knew it. The Death stains everything and there’s no washing it out. I was struck dumb. Nothing was real to me anymore.” This is how 14-year-old Mati feels when her mother dies. Similarly, without his wife, her Baba was “drifting” and “failing”, and so Baba, Mati and her two siblings travel to Zimbabwe.

During the family’s road-trip, Mati is visited by Meticais, a wise, charismatic spirit who appears in gloriously flamboyant outfits  —“they are kind of old in the face and I can’t tell if they are a man or a woman”. Through their encounters and conversations, Meticais gently steers Mati through her grief and pain to come to a clearer understanding of her emotions and to see a way through the darkness. At once subtle and powerful, this speaks to truths of the human heart with beauty and a pitch-perfect voice.

Joanne Owen

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