All That It Ever Meant, Blessing Musariri ( paperback June 2024)


An outstanding YA novel of family love, loss, and life lived between two cultures, by an astonishing, super-stylish new voice. ‘I’m going to tell you exactly how everything happened. Baba always says, Mati mwana’ngu, I love a good story but I don’t have time for a long one, so make it short.’ When Mati and her two siblings travel from London to Zimbabwe with their father, they are forced to confront the knotty family dynamics caused by the loss of their mother.

Along for the trip is Meticais, a fabulously attired gender-neutral spirit—or ghost? or imaginary friend?—who only Mati can see and talk to. Guided by Meticais’s enigmatic advice and wisdom, Mati must come to terms with her grief and with the difficulty of a life lived between two cultures, while her family learn to forge their way in a world without their monumental mother. This is distinctive, stylish, powerful writing by a vital new voice.


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