Tone: First-person narrative, realistic yet positive
Take Away: I highly recommend this novel! Marais has a wonderful writing style and relatable, unique characters.
In 1976 South Africa, a white girl and a black woman would not normally become family but as Robin and Beauty each face a devastating personal crisis, they form a bond that transcends the systemic injustice of apartheid.
However, this story isn’t an examination of a political regime, its personal. Marais creates a realistic tale of how believable characters behave under tragic circumstances. But make no mistake, even though the circumstances may be tragic, the story is ultimately one of hope, perseverance, tolerance, and love.
I can’t think of a better protagonist to try to solve the mystery of prejudice than Robin, a nine-year-old child. She’s already absorbed some of the misplaced beliefs of her parents, but through her experiences begins to question their validity. And no better foil than Beauty, who has suffered injustice, but still has love enough in her heart to care for Robin.
How I discovered this title: A recommendation from my daughter.
Have you read this novel? Share your thoughts in the comments.