Seaford resident Anne Holderness has recently published her first novel as a paperback and eBook, drawing on her experiences in Tanzania where she lived for 20 years.
The Mountains of Morogoro tells the story of Esme, a young Scottish woman. Her first trip abroad is a one-way ticket, her infant daughter in her arms, to be with her Tanzanian husband Martin Yusufu in his homeland in East Africa.
The time is 1968, shortly after Tanzania’s independence from British rule, and although made welcome in her new home, Esme is to face huge language and cultural barriers as she strives to integrate into her new surroundings.
Over the span of 20 years the story follows her struggles while raising two children, finding and holding down jobs, coping with shortages of basic necessities, making friends, and joining the endeavour for women’s equality.
Eventually she becomes involved in the creation of a rural project in the mountains of Morogoro while her search for fulfilment leads her into situations which jeopardise the custody of her children. This is the story of Esme as she gradually falls in love with the country – its peaceable people and its landscapes – while searching for her own identity.
Author Anne, of Sutton Drove, Seaford, was until recently working with the NHS and is currently an English language tutor. For many years she has been a member of an East Sussex-wide writing group which has supported her throughout the process of writing and publishing the novel.
Anne also belongs to the U3A, Seaford Ramblers, Just Voices and a Seaford-based book group. Her eBook and paperback (550 pages) are currently available to order via Amazon.
Morogoro is a city with a population of more than 300,000 in the southern highlands of Tanzania. From the mid-1960s to the 1970s, Morogoro was home to one of Tanzania’s most influential and celebrated musicians, Mbaraka Mwinshehe, a lead guitarist and singer-songwriter.