In the End It Was All About Love Musa Okwonga
To read Musa Okwonga’s short semi-autobiographical novel is to be plunged into the narrator’s internal world as he grapples with his heritage, grief, race, love, loneliness and external perceptions of ‘success’ while carving out a path through his newfound home of Berlin. The second person narration creates an immersive reading experience and Okwonga’s sheer emotional articulacy makes the narrator’s vulnerability heartbreaking at times.
Through all this he weaves a real sense of place, those who know Berlin will recognise its idiosyncrasies described perfectly e.g. ‘an adolescent surging through mood swings’ but also the serendipitous moments of joy that the city unexpectedly bestows on him.
As Okwonga lays bare the daily anxiety internalised by a black man living in a predominantly white European city alongside a yearning for belonging as he approaches 40, his unwavering dedication to emotional truth will leave you finishing the final pages with your heart wide open. A must.