Monkey's Wedding (Paperback)
Mindola Press, 9780998594903, 194pp.
Publication Date: March 9, 2017
Adolescents Elizabeth and Tururu--she's white, he's black--share an uneasy friendship on a sisal plantation in Colonial Zimbabwe when Britain declares the country part of a Federation without consulting the natives. Festering resentment to white rule is about to erupt. Elizabeth can't wait for the birth of her baby brother, while Tururu reluctantly helps his witchdoctor grandmother, Anesu, cast spells to drive out the whites.
In a bid for power and with a plan to kill the whites, Anesu's heir apparent, Karari, tries to steal her magic amulet. She confronts him and he inadvertently sets the ngozi, powerful fire spirits, against her, not realizing that he has tapped into their evil energy. Badly injured, Anesu manages to control the ngozi and banish Karari.
Unaware of his new power, Karari poisons the white's food supply, but only Elizabeth is poisoned. Tururu saves her with a magic potion and is accused of being part of the plot. He escapes, steals his grandmother's amulet, and sneaks it back to Elizabeth to protect her from Karari. Although suspicious and afraid, Elizabeth feels drawn to the amulet's mysterious power and reluctantly takes it. Tururu goes into hiding at his grandmother's invisible hut bitter at Elizabeth's lack of gratitude for the risks he's taken for her.
When Elizabeth's mother gives birth to a son with debilitating medical problems, Elizabeth is not allowed near him. Desperate, she steals her brother away and sets off across the hot African veld along with the amulet to seek a cure from Anesu. She gets lost and the amulet is of no help at all. At the end of her tether, she digs deep inside herself and reaches out with her mind and heart to Anesu, pleading with the old woman to reveal her invisible hut. The hut appears. Impressed, a still ailing Anesu helps Elizabeth's brother, and after consulting her magic bones, allows Elizabeth to keep the amulet.
Karari, with his increasing new powers, seeks to impress rebel leaders, but they reject him, afraid of his unpredictable magic. When he learns that Elizabeth has Anesu's amulet, he spirits himself to her parent's party while his followers set fire to the veld. In the confusion he grabs Elizabeth.
Tururu goes to Elizabeth's aid and is almost killed. A debilitated Anesu spirits herself to the scene, but in her weakened state, alone, she's no match for Karari. She calls on Tururu and Elizabeth for help. Despite her fear, Elizabeth finds the courage to stand up to Karari. The amulet comes to life, transforming into a massive spirit bird, and Karari is destroyed.
As Elizabeth's parents make plans to leave Zimbabwe, Anesu gives Elizabeth her own amulet and tells her that the magic is in her not the amulet and that she must believe in herself. She also tells Elizabeth that she and Tururu will meet again. They are the future of Africa.