Fiction / Zambia / High School
'Everyone call me Pumpkin. Firstly, because I was a fat, chubby-cheeked baby. And, secondly, because when Ma was pregnant with me, no matter how much pumpkin she ate, she just couldn't get enough . . . ' Lusaka. 1978. Pumpkin is nine years old. Her fashionable mother is the queen of Tudu Court, but underneath the veneer of respectability that her father's money provides lies a secret that threatens their whole world - the tall, elegant Totela ponga is a drunk. And when Pumpkin's father - the wealthy businessman JS - discovers her mother's alcoholism it sets in motion a chain of events that come to define the rest of her life. Weaving together the stories of three generations of women, this novel is a patchwork of love, jealousy and human frailty set against a backdrop of war and political ambition. It is a remarkable journey that takes us deep into the heart of family both fractured and bound together by their love for one man.