Having lived through the 1972 expulsion of Indians from Uganda as a nine year old, I can attest to the authenticity of the settings, scenes, dialogue, events and characters in Child of Dandelions. But this novel is much more than the sum of its well-written parts; it's more than the riveting narrative of a physical exodus. Through the character of Sabine, Nanji effectively conveys the emotional journey of this courageous fifteen-year-old girl in the midst of political turmoil and geographic upheaval. Although Sabine and her family are the ones being expelled from the country of their birth because of the color of their skin, in one scene Sabine watches her family's servant through new eyes, eyes re-opened by the intense circumstances of the day, and she realizes "She and her family had been treating the Africans like the untouchables in India. Katana could not share their utensils, could not use their washroom. As if he'd pollute them. Every day he waited until they finished their meal; then he cleared the table, washed the dishes, and sat on the kitchen floor to eat the leftovers or cook the bubbling white ugali, a corn mush. Sabine's face felt hot with shame. It was not only Mr. Singh or Lalita who were prejudiced, but she and her family as well." (p. 135)
Child of Dandelions soars as a story of courage and self-discovery, a historically based tale of fiction that remembers a largely forgotten racial injustice that unfolded in full view of the global community in the early 1970s, a well-written, even-handed and authentic narrative that documents the perspectives and experiences of those who suffered and overcame the brutal expulsion of Indians from Uganda.