Review of All That It Ever Meant

All That It Ever Meant All That It Ever Meant
by Blessing Musariri
High School    Norton    192 pp.
1/23    9781324030959    $18.95

In the aftermath of her mother’s death, fourteen-year-old Mati and her family struggle to cope with their grief. Baba, Mati’s father, has trouble connecting with his three children. Seventeen-year-old Chichi rebels and engages in risky behavior. Ten-year-old Tana craves attention and a return to the way life used to be. Mati is quiet and introspective, saying little. To help his family heal, Baba takes them from England on a camping adventure in the family’s home country of Zimbabwe. On the trip, Mati begins to share an extended story about her life, including the challenges of navigating two cultures, with Meticais, a flamboyant figure whom only she can see and hear. Meticais, through their engaging repartee and provocative probes, helps Mati begin to process what she has been through, building to a compelling twist. Musariri compassionately and eloquently conveys the complexities of loss and love in an absorbing, intriguing story anchored by charismatic characters.

Pubissue-From the May/June 2023 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Pauletta Brown Bracy
Pauletta Brown Bracy is professor of library science at North Carolina Central University. She is chair of the 2015-2017 Coretta Scott King Book Awards committee and serves on the 2017 Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards committee.

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