Hana Hindrakova is Czech writer fascinated by Kenya. One of her most successful novels, Nobody’s Children, which is set in Kenya, has recently been translated into English. Here’s a brief synopsis of Hana’s book
Nobody’s Children, which was inspired by a true story, was published in the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 2012, under the Kangaroo imprint of the Alpress publishing house. In 2012 it had the most Alpress sales in the Czech Republic and was nominated for the Book of the Year.
Several stories are intertwined in the novel. There’s David Kimathi, who was orphaned in childhood and finds himself on the street; there’s Moraa, who lives in the huge Mathare slum in Nairobi; there’s Odek Orenge, the leader of a gang of children in Nairobi; there’s Joy Makau, growing up in the wealthy suburb of Karen; and there’s Kioni, the granddaughter of the shaman Wanja from Mount Kenya.
When David, John and Susanne are orphaned, they end up in the hands of their cruel uncle. The boys decide to run away, promising to return for their little sister. Unfortunately they have no idea what’s about to happen to her. And their own wishes for a better life in Nairobi dissolve into thin air, as they find themselves pressured into becoming members of a gang of street children. But hope springs eternal…
The novel vividly depicts life in Kenya and is based on the author’s experiences from her numerous visits to the country and her familiarity with Kenyan culture.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Hana Hindrakova writes articles about Kenya in several Czech magazines; She’s published three travel books: At the End of the World, In the Country of the Kiwi Bird and At the Heart of Scotland. Another African novel, Karibu Kenya, which she published in January 2014, came first in the “Top 10 Books of Alpress Publishing”; and her new novel The Enchanted has achieved record Alpress sales. For more information, please visit: http://www.hindrakova.cz/en/ .
Below is a very brief selection of readers’ comments about Nobody’s Children:
I read “Nobody’s Children” very quickly. It’s written in an interesting and exciting way, with different environments described very accurately. Although I’ve never been to Kenya, the book made it easy to imagine the setting. I’m looking forward to this author’s next book. Peter R.
“Nobody’s Children” was totally gripping… The story is so powerful, so grim and yet so full of hope. I went through the whole gamut of emotions and, at the end, I was sorry it was over. Thank you so much. I’m looking forward to more beautiful novels from you. Jane P.
Although I’m not a proficient reader, I read “Nobody’s Children” in two days – the first day in the train, the next after I got home from work (and not without shedding some tears). It’s a book that demands to be read quickly, but when I got to the end I was sorry it was over. Catherine K.
Editor Comments: Ms. Hindrakova emailed me with a copy of the book and gracefully asked that I read it. That was several months ago. She recently circled back to see if I had. I am so glad she did, as it prompted me to finally take the time to read Nobody’s Children. It’s a book woven with compelling stories that will leave you wondering if there is a sequel. At the very least this book could be made into a movie – it is that good. Kenya may not have been on my bucket list of places to travel but the beautiful way in which she describes the locale, makes me realize it is a place I must one day visit. You can grab a digital copy at Lulu (link below) @ only $4.99 its a bargain. Plane fare, on the other hand may be a bit more expensive. Enjoy!
For more on the book, visit: http://www.lulu.com/shop/hana-hindráková/nobodys-children/ebook/product-22163969.html