When the River Wakes Up is an exploration of paths rarely explored-the colliding of Western beliefs and Shona mysticism. Abigail, in all her fragility, is a resolute pioneer alongside her African brother, her soul compatriot, and vessel of African wisdom: Zukah. Through their relationship they open up closed minds and hearts around them, and forge a different path in the new Zimbabwe. Any government transitioning from a racist minority rule to a majority government is careening down a road of unfathomable chaos; Zimbabwe is no different. Seen through the lens of Abigail's father, a civil servant, the process is filled with potholes of despair and unforeseen hope. When the River Wakes Up is a novel that is both a tormenting inner struggle and a changing world scorched by the fire of new beginnings.