Unexpected America

Rated 3.00/5 based on 1 reviews
Unexpected America is a mainstream memoir which reads like a thriller. Wanjiru Warama leaves Kenya in a huff and heads to the United States for a year’s sabbatical. From the first day, she realizes she has to learn to live all over again in a new culture she knows nothing about. More

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About Wanjiru Warama

Wanjiru Warama was born in British colonial Kenya. Her parents were peasant laborers and illiterate. She considers herself lucky to have gone to school from age ten.

She was educated in Kenya and in the United States, and lives in Southern California.

UNEXPECTED AMERICA, is a mainstream memoir which reads like a thriller in which Wanjiru Warama leaves Kenya in a huff and heads to the United States for a year’s sabbatical. From the first day, she realizes she has to learn to live all over again in a new culture she knows nothing about. Loneliness debilitates her until she meets “Mr. Savior” who becomes not only her savior, but her lover and abuser. Money runs out and she has to turn to housekeeping and babysitting to buy a ticket home. The idealized American lifestyle turns into a mirage, which Warama plods along like one tethered until her persistence pays off.

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Reviews

Review by: Stephanie Jane on Nov. 28, 2018 :
Unexpected America was an interesting memoir for me to read because Wanjiru Warama describes her emigration to America in quite a different style. For a start, her choice between whether to study in the UK or the USA is almost arbitrary so she didn't previously have any particular yearning for the country and I could appreciate the culture shock she must overcome during her first months at university. I got the feeling that Warama really hadn't prepared for such an alternative lifestyle which is completely understandable in the circumstances. The memoir does seem to hop around a bit at the beginning, but imparts a good sense of the situations in which Warama finds herself. At times I found myself willing her to be more assertive and stand up for herself, but I can't imagine myself as having been any stronger in such circumstances. That Warama's life eventually turned out as it has is as a result of her perseverance, willingness to keep restarting until she found her niche, and a sprinkling of fortune - both good and bad. Unexpected America is a relatively quick read, but an insightful one nonetheless.
(reviewed 9 months after purchase)

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