Title: Cry of the Fish Eagle
Author: Peter Rimmer
Publish Date: March 20, 2014
Source: I received a copy from the PR; however, this did not affect my review.
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "The heart-breaking and
mostly forgotten African period in history of Rhodesia to present day
Zimbabwe, is told in this wonderfully written book, CRY OF THE FISH
It’s the story of Rupert Pengelly who first heard the
CRY OF THE FISH EAGLE when he was stationed in Rhodesia for six months
during the Second World War. As he was to find and as the saying goes,
once you have heard the CRY OF THE FISH EAGLE, you will always come back
It is during that first six months, Rupert searches
for Sasa, the orphaned daughter of his friend, Rigby Savage. Rupert was
honouring a promise made to Rigby to care for Sasa if anything did
happen to him. To complicate the search, Sasa's eccentric grandfather,
Kobus Loubser, had taken the young orphan into the bush prospecting for
The search is unsuccessful and Rupert returns to the
war, with intentions afterwards of farming the family estate in
Cornwall. However a distant cousin, George Geake, conspires to cheat
him out of his inheritance and Rupert loses his beloved home. His only
option is to return to Rhodesia to begin a new life as a tobacco farmer
and to continue his search for Sasa.
Although their destinies are
bound together, it is many years before Rupert and Sasa meet but
meanwhile, Kobus acquires a business partner in Lewdly Jones, a
remittance man, who develops a passion for Sasa.
The years pass
and Rupert triumphs over adversity. But another war is looming. The
irrepressible tide of Black Nationalism is sweeping through Africa and a
new generation of men like Tererai Ndoro and Lovemore Ngwenya have
joined the struggle for Zimbabwe. All their lives are about to change
forever. But still, they are all enslaved by the CRY OF THE FISH EAGLE."
My Two Cents:
"Cry of the Fish Eagle" is the story of a changing time in the history of Rhodesia, which is now the country of Zimbabwe. Set against this changing time, the characters struggle both with each other and with the changing country. The characters are really the stars of this tale with the historical detail providing a lush and interesting backdrop for the action of the story.
This is story really fits into the vein of an epic story with Rupert Pengelly at the center of it. During WWII, Pengelly finds himself in Rhodesia looking for Sasa, the daughter of his friend. Pengelly knows that he must find her and his journey will take him all over the countryside into places that are facing very difficult times. This journey will change Rupert's perspective and himself over and over again as the story progresses. I really enjoyed reading about him. He is driven to do what he first promised, no matter how difficult it gets. The secondary characters also made for interesting reading as well, especially Sasa. Sasa exemplifies the hardship that so many others are going through during this time of change and turmoil.
The pacing of the book worked well for the most part. It did get a little confusing with the time changes and I kept having to go back to figure out where in the sequence of events the narrative was. There were some parts of the book that could have been slimmed down. My fellow historical fiction lovers are going to love all of the detail, which really helps to bring the story to life.
If you all have read my blog before, you know how much I love traveling different places through books. This book provides the reader with a great opportunity to travel to the heart of Africa!