ContemporaryHow Beautiful We Were by Imbolo Imbue

How Beautiful We Were by Imbolo Imbue


Imbolo Imbue’s debut, Behold the Dreamers, is a book I pretty much finished in a single sitting on a plane journey. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on her second novel and it absolutely didn’t disappoint — What. A. Story.

Set in the fictional African village of Kosawa, it tells the tale of the impact of Pexton, the American oil company that has arrived and goes on to wreak total and utter havoc on the land and its inhabitants. The consequences are far-reaching and catastrophic; the residents of Kosawa are soon left poisoned by their water. 

Many are desperate to return their home to what it was before Pexton and their drillers arrived but the company has their village head on side as well as the country’s leaders; money does, indeed, talk. 

Told from several different perspectives, How Beautiful We Were seems more *real* than any novel I’ve read in quite some time. It explores a range of themes through its cast of characters — above all, capitalism and colonialism in the modern world and the corruption that come with them. It is a beautiful and devastating read that will have you thinking about the moral questions it poses long after you put it down. I loved it; for the power of its prose and the searing strength of its challenge to the world in which we live — and how we live in it ~ Sophie

Order your copy here.

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