Saturday, August 06, 2011

A Blade of Grass

A Blade of Grass by Lewis DeSoto

A young newlywed couple, Ben and Margit come to live on their farm in South Africa in the 1970s. Their farm borders a neighbouring country in turmoil. They are full of hopes and dreams as are most young couples.

Tembi is a young black worker in the farm, full of rebellion and also with her own dreams.

When violence erupts and Margit is widowed she is forced to look for help. The local Afrikaner community is not very welcoming and is leaving the countryside in fear. The black workers on the farm have no desire to obey a white mistress. Margrit refuses to leave and turns to Tembi for assistance.

This is a novel that questions all our values. Who does the land belong to? The purchasers, the workers, the natives or the animals? The countryside is described in breath-taking beauty. The only nit I have is that I wish a few situations were better described. Still, a wonderful novel that makes the reader think.

First Line: "First she must wash the seeds."


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