I was so looking forward to reading everything on my 20 Books of Summer list – yes, even the more daunting titles which I included. One which sounded fascinating – Aminatta Forna’s The Memory of Love – disappointed me so much, however, that I was unable to complete it.
I hadn’t read any of Forna’s work before, but was really looking forward to doing so. I adore contemporary literature, particularly when it introduces me to time periods and countries which I have not personally experienced. Sierra Leone in the late 1960s and 1990s, the setting which has been utilised here, is one such example.
It surprises me that I could so dislike a book which has been shortlisted for the Orange Prize (now the Baileys Women’s Prize), and which won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book. It has been incredibly well reviewed too, by authors whom I very much admire (Kiran Desai, I’m looking at you). I sadly found the whole so disengaging, and the third and first person perspectives which have been used alternately throughout are flat and rather lacklustre. The Memory of Love, for me, was nowhere near as good as I was expecting, and as I did not find Forna’s writing very strong at all, I doubt that I will pick up another of her books in future.