All That It Ever Meant (Hardback)
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All That It Ever Meant (Hardback)

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£14.99
Hardback 192 Pages
Published: 02/11/2023
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WINNER OF THE CHILDREN'S AFRICANA BOOK AWARDS 2024OBSERVER BEST BOOKS OF 2023IRISH TIMES BEST BOOKS OF 2023SUNDAY TIMES CHILDREN'S BOOK OF THE WEEK

An outstanding YA novel of family love, loss, and life lived between two cultures, by an astonishing, super-stylish new voice.‘I’mgoing to tell you exactly how everything happened. Baba always says, Mati mwana’ngu, I love a good story but I don’t have time for a long one, so make it short.’

When Mati and her two siblings travel from London to Zimbabwe with their father, they are forced to confront the knotty family dynamics caused by the loss of their mother. Along for the trip is Meticais, a fabulously attired gender-neutral spirit—or ghost? or imaginary friend?—who only Mati can see and talk to.

Guided by Meticais’s enigmatic advice and wisdom, Mati must come to terms with her grief and with the difficulty of a life lived between two cultures, while her family learn to forge their way in a world without their monumental mother. This is distinctive, stylish, powerful writing by a vital new voice.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9781035902477
Number of pages: 192
Dimensions: 216 x 135 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

Exceptional and surprising... The story is rich in philosophical reflection, characterisation and a sense of place... This book will linger in the mind - Sunday Times, Children's Book of the Week

The books that wowed me the most this year provided insights into other cultures while avoiding didacticism... Blessing Musariri’s All That It Ever Meant takes us through Zimbabwe and a family haunted by grief in more ways than we initially realise. Seriously impressive... in a rich and varied year for YA fiction - Irish Times, Best YA Books of 2023

A beautifully written, emotionally resonant novel about family, grief and identity - The Observer, Best YA Books of 2023

‘Full of captivating characters, this title delivers a nuanced story of grief, love and family.’ - The Bookseller

'Sensitive and beautiful, All That It Ever Meant is a lyrical and compelling observation of family, grief, and love.' - Clara Kumagai, author of Catfish Rolling

Tender and powerful, this short-read packs so much into its pages including an interesting viewpoint on growing up between two cultures - Irish Examiner

'A stunning, heartbreaking twist at the end will have readers turning back the pages to immediately reread this remarkable novel. An inventive, exquisitely written story of family, love, and loss.' - Kirkus, starred review

Musariri explores family grief and resolution in an intelligent, clever way that would resonate with a thinking reader... a stylish new voice from a debut author to be welcomed - Books for Keeps

A unique road-trip novel of grief and cultural discovery... All That It Ever Meant is a clever, heartfelt tale that will appeal to confident older readers and fans of Elizabeth Acevedo and Angie Thomas - School Reading List

A beautifully written meditation on love and loss, as well as identity and the complexities of immigrant life - The Bookseller, Editor's Choice

‘Musariri explores belonging, grief, and love in this powerful homage to family set against an intricately detailed backdrop.’ - Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

‘A gorgeous, richly rewarding novel for thoughtful readers.’ - School Library Journal, Starred Review

'Musariri spins a tale with characters and narrative so interesting that rereading this brief outing is a near certainty; hand this to teens eager to delve into the difficult (and sometimes darkly humorous) parts of life.' - Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

At once subtle and powerful, this speaks to truths of the human heart with beauty and a pitch-perfect voice - LoveReading4Kids, Debut of the Month

A stunning novel… The complexities of human nature, relationships and emotions are all sensitively explored in this beautifully written, cleverly constructed and gripping story - Through the Bookshelf

The careful, elegant plotting in Blessing Musariri’s All That It Ever Meant is one of its many pleasures; the twists are skilful, subtle and worth reflecting on beyond that initial gasp of surprise... This is absolutely the kind of novel that rewards rereading - Irish Times

The rich use of language and description [is] crying out to be read aloud... captivating - Armadillo Magazine

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Hardback

“Touching and textured tale”

All That It Ever Meant is a touching and textured tale about family, grief and something a little bit beyond. It is a layered and gorgeous story that I devoured.

There is something just so emotionally rich about... More

Hardback edition
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