Serengotti is very much a novel of today, of thoughts, feelings, trauma, life, laughter, and to a degree, acceptance.
Ch’anzu tells her story in a bitter sweet, no holds barred style that shines a very clear light on the long term effects that displacement of culture, country and lifestyle, held together by unmentionable trauma can and does have on a society; a society that has cobbled together a future from an horrific past, in a country that really has no understanding of such things.
Her world seems to be collapsing from the inside out. Growing up in Australia Ch’anzu has a past full of despair and trauma. She has made a life for herself, studied hard and has a good job in the world of computers.
Losing her job, due to some fabricated reason is bad enough, but losing her wife as well just adds to the insult that seems to be her life at the moment. She realises that Melbourne is not the place to be and takes up a job offer in a place called Serengotti, a migrant settlement town, which turns her world up-side-down.
She faces more pain and suffering that she could ever imagine and begins to view the world, her world, in a vastly different manner. Her twin brother, Tex, an issue within himself, adds to the complexity of the story as he tries to change, but in doing so, creates further deeper, darker problems.
A surreal encounter with a woman who chooses to live life in a somewhat alternative style or universe, creates another layer of intrigue to a story that is full of twists and turns – Aviana is her name, but who is she in reality.
Compassionate, controversial, fascinating and deeply introspective, Serengotti is an outstanding novel that has a very wry element to the wording, which keeps what could easily have been a dysfunctional storyline glued well together, to form an unforgettable view into a world that is all too real to many.