Synopsis: 15-year-old Zahra has lived in England most of her life, but she is haunted by memories of her early childhood in Africa: the warm sun, the loud gunfire, and happy days playing with her older sister before “the visitors” came. It is hard for Zahra to make sense of everything that happened, and the terrible events are impossible to talk about, but when three familiar women arrive unexpectedly for tea, Zahra realises that the dangers of the past could still destroy her.
What Was Never Said is the powerful story of a girl navigating the demands of two very different and conflicting worlds; a tale of surviving loss and overcoming fears.
I flew through this book in just a couple of hours reading time! I picked this up over a year ago on a whim whilst browsing Foyles, just for something short, and the first line really grabbed me:
“The cutter came last night. I recognised her: her black clothes, her narrow face and the yellow whites of her eyes.”
I actually had no idea what this book was about until just before I decided to read it; an entire year after buying it! I was looking for some diverse fiction to read, but something that I already owned. I then discovered that this was in fact about a girl’s desperate attempt to escape FGM (Femal Genital Mutilation) – a tradition that her African family has followed for generations.
Although the writing wasn’t the greatest, it was very much a “teen” read, I generally enjoyed reading this book. It’s diverse in its cultures and race, and tackles a subject that it not widely talked about. I feel that this subject is important to get out there in raising awareness, as it is unfortunately something that still happens today.
This book was short and sweet; a good book to just pick up if you want something quick to read.
View What Was Never Said on Goodreads.