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  • By Shelley Gauld
    Aug 31, 2009
    "Writer's Digest 15th Annual Self-Published Book Awards" Judge's Commentary: I greatly enjoyed the artwork and the juxtaposition of the art with the stories and locations described within the text. The writing is excellent and all is purposeful. The author has truly lived a remarkable life. Unlike many life-story/memoir writers, this author seems to see beyond herself and is able to reflect on the community at large, namely, South Africa and the U.S. She is one of the most learned, brilliant people I have ever read/learned from. From cover to cover: most ingenious.
  • By daholgate
    Mar 30, 2009
    "Accurate, beautiful and inspiring" I was entranced by this book. I began reading it to relive my own experiences of growing up on the Natal South Coast in the 1960s. The author’s descriptions took me right back: the beaches, the climate, the vegetation, the culture, and even the coastal train are all described with affectionate precision. Her reference to amathungulu berries as ‘martin-gulus’ gave me a ‘shock of recognition’ at a distance of forty years. Her accuracy and honesty make this a valuable first-hand witness to what it was like to grow up there, then. This attention to language is reflected in the presentation of the text. Non-English words are italicized and expressions peculiar to South Africa are placed in bold. Both are explained in the glossary, with aids to pronunciation when necessary. The author is an accomplished artist, and her clear maps and diagrams, and original artwork and photographs (some by other family members) enhance the book throughout. As a... More > direct contemporary of the author, I recognised the authenticity of her accounts of other life experiences that are similar to mine, such as the process of coming to Christian faith as a young adult or the controlled pain of emigrating with a young family. Again, I found that her recollections rang true, capturing with simplicity some of the complexity of these experiences. The author’s personal narrative is helpfully located within a wider historical perspective. The shaded ‘bhansela’ (bonus) boxes offer a shift of focus that places her story in 3-D. Chapter 7, ‘Suid Afrika,’ differs from the others in offering an overview of South African history, from the arrival of the Dutch in 1652 to 2006. The use of the Afrikaans name for the country reveals that this is a re-telling of the former ‘official’ Afrikaner view from the perspective of an English-speaker. It is an example of oral history, artfully incorporating within it the recognition that others will have their own ‘meta-narrative’, and that these are all likely to differ from whatever the official version is at the time. A beautiful book, then, that deserves a wide readership. Readers familiar with South Africa will find much to enjoy, celebrate and regret. Others, curious about what life was like for South Africans of British descent in the apartheid era, will find here an honest, enlightening and appreciative family story with implications for us all. David Holgate< Less
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Product Details

Shelley Gauld
March 6, 2007
Hardcover (casewrap)
Interior Ink
Black & white
1.45 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
8.25 wide x 10.75 tall
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