Then a Wind Blew is an impressive novel set in the final months of the war in Rhodesia, before it became Zimbabwe, as seen through the eyes of three women. These women are all very different from each other but they find that their lives become intertwined due to circumstances beyond their control.
Nanye is with her sister at a guerilla camp, Susan is a white settler and Beth is a nun. Each of these women have witnessed the horrors of war which gives the reader a greater understanding of the politics as their stories unfold.
This is a beautifully written novel and despite the harrowing story that it tells, a very enjoyable read. The author grew up in what was then known as Rhodesia and it's very clear that she has a deep rooted love for the country as this shines through in the wonderfully vivid descriptions of the landscape.
What sets this book apart from other war based novels is the fact that it focuses on the conflict from a predominantly female perspective. This was a first for me and until I read this book, was a point of view that I had given little or no consideration to, but one which needs to be talked about when you take into account all of the conflicts currently happening in various places around the world.
This is by no means an easy book to read and it's made all the more difficult by knowing that it has its roots firmly planted in fact and these atrocities actually took place. It's hard to stomach in places and I did find myself having to take a minute away from the story to contemplate how challenging it must have been just to survive during this time.
Then a Wind Blew is a poignant novel that highlights the struggles of a country going through political change and the consequences that these changes have on its inhabitants. A truly haunting novel that will stay with me for many months to come.
With kind thanks to the author Kay Powell for my review copy.
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