Divided in four parts "The Year of Our Loves and Friendships", "The Year of Her Passion", "The Years of Betrayal", and "Homecoming- The In-Between World of Vikram Lall is a bold attempt at telling the epic of Asian people in Africa. It is a novel concerning themes of love, passion, commitment and more importantly, identity. The narrator, Vikram Lall, is a Kenyan born Indian who grows up in an era where rebellion, confusion, and disruption were all prevalent. In this journal, you will learn about the characters, themes, and settings in the first half of this book.
Part One: The Year of Our Loves and Friendships
In the first section we are introduced to the Lall family, who are residents of Kenya. At once the reader is introduced to the idea of cross-racial and cross-cultural love. Vikram and his younger sister Deepa have befriended the son of their gardener, Njoroge. It is immediately apparent that Deepa and Njoroge have romantic feelings for one another. What makes this unusual is the fact that Njoroge is black. B y doing this it is apparent that Vassanji is illustrating that even in a time where inter-racial love was not socially acceptable, it still existed. He further emphasized this through the portrayal of Vic's romantic relationship with Annie, a British girl whose brother was friends with Vikram. This alludes to the "in-between" portion of the title, for intertwining of several different races can be viewed as "in-between". The fact Vassanji consistently refers to a time where racism was predominant it forces the reader to think back to the time where East Africa was very "confused". Both of my parents are from East Africa and lived in here the precise time that Vassanji is referring to. They witnessed first hand the lack of identity that existed at that time. Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya were ruled by the British, run by the Indians and populated by the Africans. Because everyone played a different role they all felt like visitors on a foreign land....
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