Nervous Conditions Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Nervous Conditions

Tambudza felt no sadness when hearing of her brother's death after years of being oppressed by him. She is a young girl struggling to escape the perimeters of her patriarchal society but she wouldn't be able to express her feelings in that manner.   She is 13. The action takes place in Rhodesia in the 1960's. Her brother Nhamo, the only boy, had been given preferential treatment by their uncle Mukamo in that he is being educated at the Mission where the Uncle is employed as headmaster.
Click here to see the rest of this review

Mukamo is the achiever in a family whose other members remain uneducated and poor. Tambudza begged to be allowed to go to school but her father refused. She managed to find a way to obtain money for her fees. Then, when Nhamo became ill suddenly and died, she was given his place at the school. Where formerly Nhamo had the bright future, one that would take him away from his family homestead, now Tambudza is the favored one. She couldn't have been happier. Her father, Jeremiah, is a lazy worthless fellow and her mother beaten down by poverty and despair.   

Mokamo, her uncle, and his wife go to London to work on their further degrees with their children Nyasha and Chido who are introduced to new ideas about how people should live. Conflict and rebellion follow them home. Tambudza is witness to this by virtue of her sharing a room with Nyasha while attending the mission school. Tambudza wins a scholarship to the more prestigious Sacred Heart school and sees a bright future while watching Nyasha become ill as she is torn between rebellion and guilt.
The review of this Book prepared by Coletta Ollerer

Chapter Analysis of Nervous Conditions

Click on a plot link to find similar books!

Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   thoughtful Time/era of story    -   1960's-1970's Ethnic/Regional/Religion    -   African Blacks Other aspects:    -   story of the poor Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Ethnic/regional/gender life    -   Yes Woman's story?    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   scholar Ethnicity/Nationality    -   Black (American)


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   8 () Africa    -   Yes Kind of Africa:    -   Black Africa Small town?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like Nervous Conditions

Tsitsi Dangarembga Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
2 Ways to Search!

Our Chief Librarian