Review: Kololo Hill by Neema Shah

I loved this book.


Neema Shah draws the reader into a fascinating tale set in 1970s Uganda. In Kololo Hill, we encounter an Asian family who run a shop, and get to know them as the pressure mounts for Asians to leave the country. Shah writes a very modern novel, looking at themes which resonate today.

The family, father Motichand, mother Jaya, sons Pran and Vijay, and Prans new wife Asha are faced with many dilemmas. Family servant December, although Ugandan, is from the wrong tribe, and the family ends up sheltering him from the soldiers who may, at any time, raid their shop or attack them in their home. And their plan to leave is complicated by the fact that although Jaya, Asha and Vijay have British passports, the others do not.

The second part of the book follows Jaya, Asha and Vijay to the UK. We see life through their eyes as they are first sent to Army barracks with other refugees, then as they try to build a new life in North London and bring the whole family back together. I was engrossed in the challenges of their new life, and the end of the book came far too soon.

Well worth a read.

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