A History of Burning by Janika Oza

A History of Burning by Janika Oza

Title:  A History of Burning
Author: Janika Oza
Publisher:  Grand Central Publishing 
Genre:  General Fiction (Adult), Literary Fiction OwnVoices
Format:  Kindle
No. of Pages:  401
Date of US Publication:  2 May, 2023
My Rating:  4.5 Stars

My Thoughts 

This novel pulled at me, working its way deeper into me with each page I read. This one will stay with me for a long time.

I am astounded that this is a debut author - Ms. Oza is immensely talented and I look forward to reading more of her future works. 


Thank you to Grand Central Publishing and NetGalley for the DRC!


This epic, sweeping historical novel full of "wondrous complexity” spans continents and a century, and reveals how one act of survival can reverberate through generations (Rachel Khong, author of Goodbye, Vitamin). ​

In 1898, Pirbhai, a teenage boy looking for work, is taken from his village in India to labor for the British on the East African Railway. Far from home, Pirbhai commits a brutal act in the name of survival that will haunt him and his family for years to come.

So begins Janika Oza’s masterful, richly told epic, where the embers of this desperate act are fanned into flame over four generations, four continents, throughout the twentieth century. Pirbhai’s children are born in Uganda during the waning days of British colonial rule, and as the country moves toward independence, his granddaughters, three sisters, come of age in a divided nation. Latika is an aspiring journalist, who will put everything on the line for what she believes in; Mayuri’s ambitions will take her farther away from home than she ever imagined; and fearless Kiya will have to carry the weight of her family’s silence and secrets.

In 1972, the entire family is forced to flee under Idi Amin’s military dictatorship. Pirbhai’s grandchildren are now scattered across the world, struggling to find their way back to each other. One day a letter arrives with news that makes each generation question how far they are willing to go, and who they are willing to defy, to secure their own place in the world.

A History of Burning is an unforgettable tour de force, an intimate family saga of complicity and resistance, about the stories we share, the ones that remain unspoken, and the eternal search for home.


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