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Explore Forna's writing style and how she establishes character and the ideas in the opening 5 chapters of "The Memory of Love".

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Lloyd English Language 14/12/12 Watson 1ES1 The Memory of Love by Aminatta Forna, takes us to Freetown, Sierra Leone, where a dying man Elias Cole, contemplates on a past obsession; Saffia, the woman he loved, and Julius, her charismatic, capricious husband. All three lives will clash in friendship, love, war, and will realizes the unreadable effects of the past and the nature of obsessive love. Forna constructs her novel with three distinct narratives which move the reader back and forth from present time to when Sierra Leone was embroiled in civil war. Elias Cole tells his story of betrayal,disappointment and "lost years" in the first person, which tricks the reader into believing he's an honest man, this is also stressed by the author's beautiful writing rich in metaphors "songs ...read more.


As a result of these events the reader is the witness of Elias's rising obsession for Saffia, a good example would be when he writes down her license plate at this stage the reader could beginning to question themselves on what is love and an obsession. Adrian Lockheart a psychologist escaping his life in England, arriving in Freetown in the wake of civil struggles with intensity of the heat unexpectedly finds a young surgeon Kai. When learning Adrian's profession his answer "Ok-ay" stresses his doubt and emphasising the fact that the english psychologist is uncomfortable with his new surroundings. This is further more shown when Forna tells the reader of the silences in sierra leonese conversations "He has yet to get used to it (silences)". ...read more.


Incidentally, there has never been a black man on the moon. In the forth chapter the pattern of switching between stories is not adhered, Forna didn't need a separate chapter but wished to emphasise the significance of the moment and maintains the illusion of a monologue by including narrative interjections from Elias as a contemporary narrator. Overall narratives unfold in multiple time zones, with Elias retracing and editing a decades-old obsession with his colleague Julius' wife, Saffia; and Kai and Adrian sleepwalking through their daily affairs. There's little immediate action in the novel, and instead, Forna advances the story through tightly executed scenes that reveal themselves later on, time bombs that detonate once their context becomes clear. ...read more.

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