I was hesitant when starting the Queen of Katwe; I don’t have much interest in chess and inspiring stories often seem to be over dramatic or too unbelievable for my tastes. And while parts of the book were interesting, as a whole I am not a fan.
I felt like I was reading a academic essay written at 3 AM the night before a deadline, considering the amount of padding and detail that was added in around Phiona Mutesi’s story. It went into great detail about her life, her mother’s life, her coach’s life, as well as other people’s lives that seemed rather…peripheral. While there is no reason not to leave out details about key players that were important to Phiona’s life, it seemed excessive and somewhat awkward with the way that new people were being introduced throughout the book.
Perhaps it would have been better if the scope was widened, or the summary rewritten? A book about how chess affected young people in Uganda, and focusing on a few of them specifically.