Motohuma the Firehead

goodlife guide

By Jennifer Munro

As a small child growing up in rural Rhodesia,Poppet has become used to the mysterious scars on her body, a violent recurring dream of a house fire, strange relics in a hidden suitcase, and adult eyes that slide away from her direct gaze.She is aware that hers is a house of secrets.

Her search for the truth about her past builds towards a terrifying night when she is attacked while her morose, alcoholic father slumbers next door.

When Poppet suspects the dreadful secret of her true identity she flies to London, to the safe, tranquil life she was originally destined for. Murder, rape, terrorism, racism, fire, guns, crocodiles, secrets and snakes all seem far behind her until her hated father dies, and she is called to face all the old fears again; this time with the man who wants to marry her, but is oblivious to the terrible things she’s seen and done. Can she risk being exposed? Can she live with the guilt?

The writer’s passionate love for her doomed African homeland of Zimbabwe blazes through this novel, and lights up the lives of a small, rural community in the middle of a brutal bush war.

‘No Paradise is ever without its Serpent, nor any Eden its exiles’

Lennie Gooding, Senior Commissioning Editor, Virago Publishing, London:
‘I think this is wonderfully written and, I really liked the execution.
So.. if she doesn’t sell this to someone else (and I expect she will) I would be happy to see whatever she writes next.’

Sally Orson-Jones, Brighton:
‘This is a smashing book, moving, evocative and insightful. Africa leaps to life vividly on the page, the plot has some meaty twists and turns, and I loved the fact that my perceptions of certain characters were turned around as I read. There are no simple answers here, and no easy options, but it is a story that literally made me laugh and cry, and it will stay in my mind for a very long time to come. It’s also beautifully written. I strongly recommend it.’

Anonymous Agent, London:
`I’ve now read a fair chunk of
MOTOHUMA, THE FIREHEAD (Jennifer Munro) and you’re right that it’s good, and vividly and evocatively written. It’s the kind of book that could win prizes and be dramatised as a prestige film. Unfortunately it’s also the kind of book that I don’t think I’m good at representing. This may well be THE KITE RUNNER.’

Merryl Patterson:
‘This book takes us back to when Zimbabwe was known as Rhodesia. Poppet is a white girl whose father owns a second-generation farm. The only mother she knows is Millie, her black nanny. There is change in the air, mixed with fear and hope. In the midst of all this, Poppet is growing up and discovering who she is. This is a well-told story from the heart, a story that should find a wide audience.’

Mr. Alan Wilson:
‘This work is a winner. It begins at a run and keeps on going. Backed’

Ophelia Purlin:
‘I LOVE the line “who smelled of nothing more than common sense.” Brilliant!
This is a very well-written piece and nothing, as far as I can tell, that needs improving. Keep posting those chapters’

You can purchase the book online from Smashwords in multiple eBook formats at

eBook formatting by Shelley Glasow Schadowsky.

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