This has the feel of a traditional folktale, but right from the start you feel there is something more sinister to be revealed. Mathina, the main character, has a naive stoicism which gets him through the ordeals of living under an oppressive regime. Thanks to the style of the writer, you never feel overwhelmed by the horrific and tragic events. Once read, you'll find this book hard to forget.
Once upon a time, in a village called Nduma, there was a man whom everyone considered mad. The village woke up one day to find him perched on the top of a tree like a monkey. When the villagers talked to him, he didn't say much. He just replied 'my name is Mathina. I cannot understand.'