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3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  224 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
St Matthias Mission 1902: 'There are men who know that when you are finished with this war of yours and have raised your flag to the glory of your Empire - the one that we, as black men, are supposed to revere for having bestowed on us education, faith, prosperity and all the other high-sounding gifts - that you will sell us out - perhaps against the advance of metaphorica ...more
Paperback, 444 pages
Published October 31st 1994 by The Penguin Group (SA) (Pty) Ltd (first published 1993)
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I read this book a few years ago and fell in love with the author's writing style. It will have to be re-read for a proper review, but I just wanted to add it to my book list.
Kathe Coleman
Feb 17, 2015 Kathe Coleman rated it really liked it
Shades by Marguerite Poland
Shades is an historical novel first published in 1993 and is said to be based on the author’s ancestors. It is set against the backdrop of the South African war, the drought, the rinderpest pandemic which sent many cattle men to seek work in the gold mines just to survive. Charles Farbourough was a missionary who lived in St. Matias along with his wife Emily, son Crispin, cousin Victor and Benedict their adopted son who was being sponsored by English family. Walter Bro
Mar 25, 2013 Pamela rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. Considering I hated history at school, I now love books that give glimpses into how life was lived in a different time period and how things that happend then can be seen in todays society.
Aug 25, 2015 Sue rated it it was amazing

This story nearly broke my heart. The tragedy of Crispin and the three Pumani brothers, especially Sonwabo, promises to linger for ages.
I agree with the reviewer who applauds M Poland for her approximation of the great 'British tradition' of C Bronte et al. Her prose is exquisite, poetic and she gets into the very fibre of each of her characters. At all times she and we are sensitive to the landscape, described so meticulously that it seems to participate actively in every drama and mood. The p
Wendy Koedoot
Sep 14, 2015 Wendy Koedoot rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Zuid-Afrika, 1898. De anglicaanse pastor Walter Brownley arriveert in St. Matthias, een missiepost aan de Oostkaap. Vol twijfels over zijn roeping heeft hij Engeland verlaten, maar op St. Matthias lijkt hij zijn bestemming gevonden te hebben. Charles Farborough, de missiepriester, is een zachtaardig man met warm hart voor de Xhosabevolking.
Tegen wil en dank ontluikt bij Walter een diepe genegenheid voor Farboroughs dochter Frances – een onmogelijke liefde, want zij is voorbestemd voor een huweli
Yvonne Eloise
Jan 23, 2011 Yvonne Eloise rated it liked it
This was at first a horrible, horrible book to read. It truly was an awful set-work book. But then I finished reading it. Not only does it have a beautiful ending, which still gives me butterflies years later, but when I just took a step back and really thought through the intricate details and nuances of the book as a whole, I fell in love with the novel. Head-over-heels in love.
Katherine Graham
Jun 01, 2016 Katherine Graham rated it it was amazing
What an amazingly textured book this is - hauntingly beautiful, very sad, but with a hopeful ending. I loved the way that Poland wove together the stories of her "shades" - her real ancestors - which she imaginatively recreates. The backdrop of turn-of-the-century South Africa with the lure of the gold mines heightened the drama. The ruin of Crispin is inevitable - from the first glimpses, we see that his story will end in disaster - but there is a happy ending in store for Walter and Frances, w ...more
Feb 26, 2016 Jeanette rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
De proloog moest ik twee keer lezen vanwege het aantreden van zo ongeveer alle personages die een belangrijke rol spelen in het verhaal. Toen ik deze hobbel had genomen, ontrolde zich een prachtig boek met bijzondere hoofdpersonen. Het verhaal speelt rond 1890 met een missionaris in Zuid-Afrika in de hoofdrol. Aan de orde komen: roeping, heidense gebruiken, het christelijk geloof, oorlog en liefde. Zelden las ik zo'n briljante beschrijving van de omgeving. Al lezend ben je zelf in Afrika. Ik ben ...more
Apr 21, 2016 Robyn-Lee rated it it was amazing
I read Shades as past of my high school prescribed reading list. Marguerite is an amazing writer. She captured the era, landscape and tensions excellently. I feel in love with many of the Characters and still quote her often.
Nov 04, 2013 Sindie rated it it was amazing
I read this book twice, it was one of our setwork books in high school and I read it on my matric year in 2005 and a few years later. I remember clearly how well I did in the final examination because of how much I loved this book.

A very well told story of love, life and loss; it best chronicles the history in a land of my grandfathers, as it is set where my grandparents lived. I almost felt like I relived most of it, as I recognised some of the landmarks that were narrated in the story.

If I cou
Oct 12, 2016 Barbara rated it did not like it
Never have I despised a book as much as I despised Shades.
Linda Caddick
Mar 09, 2015 Linda Caddick rated it it was amazing
I have been searching for this book all my life as though for a missing nutrient. I can finally say this is the best book I have ever read. What a masterful writer and what a story! Each sentence is just how I would have written it if only I could - the music and rhythm of words, and her deep insight into human nature together with her ability to express it, combine to produce an emotionally, intellectually, spiritually and aesthetically satisfying read that kept me 'heart in throat' till the la ...more
Aug 16, 2014 Nina rated it really liked it
Loved it!
I find it difficult to review books I love. I read this book in High School. At first I found it tedious and slow and oh so boring. Until suddenly, I couldn’t out it down. And that ending! Goddamnit.
Jul 24, 2012 Shubha rated it it was ok
studied it at high school. thought reading was boring,no it was just this book. didn't like that 18 yr old falling for 30 something yr old n vise versa!!!!
Jun 20, 2011 Mota rated it really liked it
an amazing story.
Allyson rated it liked it
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