Canons! Cannons! is a moving account of a gentle community from Central Kenya which must fight to keep its families, beliefs, freedom, and land amid foreign invasions. The quite Kwetu Community stirs towards the close of the nineteenth century when hostile settlers from the West threaten its existence. During that same period, Muregi Kirima is born, he who would later champion the labors and sacrifices of his community. As a little boy, Muregi witnessed the onslaught of Reverend Jakobo and his intolerant canon. In his youth, he watched the intrusion of hardnosed settlers, well equipped with powerful guns, vicious dogs, and insatiable ill-will. In time, religion and tyranny merge, resulting into one lethal recipe. It is now seven days before the oppressors hand back the freedom and land that they appropriated at gunpoint. During this momentous week, Muregi recounts his community's afflictions to his grandchildren as they complete preparations for the much anticipated Independence Day. But it's not all down and bleak. Some aspects of the struggle are pleasantly heartwarming. For instance, the antics of Muregi, Matt, the man from Punjab, and the Martini Mixer, all of whom refuse to be caught up in narrow-mindedness, are a welcome departure from the divide-and-rule strand that interweaves through the book. So are the entertaining activities by women from different lands who call themselves the gang of five. As the Muregis discuss the nationwide crisis, features of internal strive present themselves. First, Muregi's determined seventeen-year old granddaughter fails to understand why her grandparents dissuade her from repairing a power generator while praising her for producing a meal. Her big brother is hesitant to disclose his love interest for fear that his family would not accept her diverse heritage. Their equally reformative mother defies her parents' orders, takes a spear, and joins other freedom seekers in the woods. As Independence Day approaches, each one demands individual freedom in addition to that of the community.
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- Item #: 0581