Come By Here, My Lord: Seen in a Mirror Dimly

Book, 2020, 536 pp
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This novel, set in Lusaka Zambia in 1974, celebrates friendships made among different people, particularly young people aged 15 to 35, despite barriers of ethnic group, religion, socioeconomics and political doctrines, during a turbulent time in southern Africa when Zambia was asserting herself as an independent and dynamic new nation and colonialism and apartheid were slowly fading away.

Orwell Hughes - 20 years old, active in sports, arts and church - enjoys life as a young man coming of age in 1974's Lusaka, where his father (James "Bwana" Hughes) is a Canadian diplomat and Orwell attends the University of Zambia. Orwell endears himself to African peers Benjamin Mudenda, Winter Banda, and Cepheus Belo, through interests in African languages, history, justice, and aspirations. Yet, he suffers racism and awkward social relationships with young women that his father and older brother Richard can't help him solve.

Orwell invites Tracy MacDonachie, his former Sunday school teacher and youth leader - who encouraged him as an impressionable lad back home in Canada - to visit him in Zambia, hoping that this older, successful and wiser man can continue to mentor him. Orwell's sisters Suzanne and Janice Joanne invite Tracy's sisters Kathleen and Alicia, to visit. The MacDonachies arrive for Easter but stay longer than planned, and are not as remembered; Tracy woos Orwell's girlfriend Georgina. Several other Canadians join Bwana Hughes's team, including Karla Bryant, whom Orwell agrees to tutor in English while the university has been closed by a workers' strike. His hopes revive when he joins Tracy's boxing clinic....

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