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Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite
Even Flowers Know That Water Is Useless Without Roots by Gloria D. Gonsalves is a mesmerizing collection of poems, essays, and short stories. This anthology contains some personable poems that shed light on the rich and colorful cultural heritage of East Africa, covering topics such as love, food, national pride, etc., and showcasing the abundant natural beauty and diversity of Tanzania. In "Chicken Soup Prayer," the narrator reveals the mystical healing properties of a hot bowl of chicken soup. "Remember Those Days" is a nostalgic throwback to a bygone era. In "Who Am I," the author explores her roots to figure out her own place in the world. The collection also includes some haikus that describe the majestic beauty of Kilimanjaro as well as the inevitable necessity of household chores.
Gloria D. Gonsalves takes readers on a journey through the diverse terrain of East Africa with this marvelous poetry collection. Even Flowers Know That Water Is Useless Without Roots is poignant yet light-hearted, touching upon some relevant social issues while offering you a heartwarming sense of belonging to a place you've most likely never been to before. Gonsalves also shares parts of her own life in her verses. There's an essay on the Kiswahili-speaking East African community, a eulogy for the veteran Tanzanian journalist Gabriel Pereira Mgaya, and a thought-provoking short story about a young woman from a remote village in northeast Tanzania who becomes an international fashion model. This is one of the best collections I've read this year. If you're a poetry enthusiast, I can't recommend this book highly enough.