When the lovely people at Penguin sent me this book to review, I just knew that my mum would enjoy it. She was a brilliant and dedicated History teacher for many, many years with a keen interest in South African History. It just so happened that she came to visit a few weeks ago and pilfered this book from my shelf, haha! So then she was tasked with writing the review and did a fantastic job!
Genre & Themes
Local Fiction, South African History
Main themes – Racism in the South African Context, The Will to Survive
Minor themes – Homosexuality, Religion and Friendship
As a former history teacher, the plot captured my interest immediately. I am always amazed at the strength and resilience of the African in his fight to be recognised as a person in his own right. This struggle was very prevalent during the time of this story. We get insight into the indignity which the African male had to suffer and endure despite being educated. This was very relevant to our many South African stories on racism.
This book covers an incident in our history that hasn’t been given much coverage. It does however show the strong bonds among African and their allegiance to their leaders. The presence of mission schools and its influence is very prevalent. Homosexuality was evident even as early as the early 1800’s.
My favourite character is Xhawulengweni. We see him struggling with himself throughout the book. He is the person you love to hate but who comes through in the end.
Thank you to Penguin Random House South Africa for the opportunity to review this new release and thank you to my mum for this review. If you are looking for more good reads, you can have a peek at my bookshelf.