Lucy's People: An Ethiopian Memoir
Yerada Lij Australia, Aug 15, 2021 - Biography & Autobiography - 298 pages
Lucy's People: An Ethiopian Memoir is the inspiring story of a country and a life. Young engineer Mesfin grows up under Emperor Haile Selassie I in Ethiopia. She is mother to all her people. Under her sun and moon, women walk tall. Many are warriors, including his mother and grandmother. The boy comprehends the burden placed upon ethical military such as his colonel father. He defends Ethiopian borders and the socially marginalised. Like him, Mesfin defies those who thrive on brutality and treachery.
With the 1974 communist revolution, how do the humane thrive? At the warfront, the conscripted teenager must never compromise his love for motherland and the children of Lucy. The humanoid fossil has survived almost intact for 3.2 million years in the Rift Valley. At what cost to her people does Ethiopia endure?
In and out of prison, Mesfin nevertheless qualifies as a construction and civil engineer. An ancient Abyssinian role model is Saba (Queen Sheba), the engineering queen of Lake Tana. Her people pioneered agricultural water use. He specialises in water development and works all over the country.
Fresh disaster comes in 1991. Youth must choose: stay or flee?
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Lucy’s People offers a humane portrait of modern Ethiopia, etched in the recollections of an astounding life.
Humming with heartfelt energy, Mesfin Tadesse’s memoirs span a transformative and troubled era. Bright and charismatic, Mesfin cuts his teeth under the reign of Emperor Haile Selassie I. In horror, he watches the communist Derg coup of 1974, and, alongside his compatriots, struggles to endure the ensuing atrocities. As a headstrong young man, Mesfin must not merely survive, but must do so without compromising his convictions, or his love of Ethiopia.
Engaging to the last, Lucy’s People runs the gamut of human emotion. It strikes the tone of an affectionate elegy, such that it feels, at one moment, warmly descriptive, and at yet another, quietly indignant. In this manner, it weaves between the personal and the political: a feat widely accomplished with playful, acerbic wit. Readers can expect an appetising dose of flavourful detail, but without fear of excessive nostalgia or sentimentality. The storytelling remains consistently inventive, and rewards with gripping vignettes starring spirited personalities. These memoirs thereby tell the story of many – a story of resilient compassion and defiant pride.
The result is compelling; Lucy’s People skilfully documents an intimate perspective on an ethically complex time and place.