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Dance With A Poor Man's Daughter

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  128 ratings  ·  20 reviews
'My name is Lily Daniels and I live in The Valley, in an old house at the top of a hill with a loquat tree in the garden. We are all women in our house. My grandmother, my Aunt Stella with her hopalong leg, and me. The men in our family are not worth much. They are the cross we have to bear. Some of us, like my mother, don't live here any more. People say she went on the K ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published November 1st 1998 by Black Swan (first published November 1st 1997)
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Sam Certainly Can by Bridgitte LesleyWaiting for the Barbarians by J.M. CoetzeeLong Walk to Freedom by Nelson MandelaThe Collected Works of Herman Charles Bosman by Herman Charles BosmanInkarna by Nerine Dorman
Best South African Books
8th out of 94 books — 53 voters
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Dance Metaphors in Titles
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 230)
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Sharon Reuben
Loved the humour and story telling! The author transported me to an era that must have been very painful in sa society. Was delightful reading about another culture and their experiences.
Minnie
One of my all time favourite books about South Africa.I loved the perspective of the child which is both innocent and also wise beyond her years.
Babak Fakhamzadeh
Set in Cape Town, possibly in the 70s, around the time the Group Areas act came into force and shortly before the forced removals from areas such as District Six. The focus is on a coloured family with primarily women and told from the perspective of the youngest, a 10/11 year old girl, whose mother 'took the Kimberley train' and left for Johannesburg years ago.
When it's clear the family's neighbourhood is going to be suffer due to changing laws, the girl's mother suddenly shows up again and, i
...more
Dora Okeyo
I liked: Lily Daniels' Grandmother-she was an old woman who forgave her daughter for leaving-then choosing a life she never expected of her, and who hoped that things would get better for them even though it was clear that the government cared no more.
Most underestimated character: Gus Seep, he might have been the uncle that filled Lily's head with all these stories that people deemed lies, but he loved his family through and through.
I did not like: the kids who bullied Lily-they were pretty awf
...more
Ingrid Van blerk
This is a story about the life of a family living in South Africa at the time of Apartheid. It focuses on a time just before what is called 'the forced removals' of the Cape Coloured community, threatening the families to leave everything behind.The story is told through the eyes of the sweetest 10 year old little girl. I love her absolute bond to her grandmother and her misunderstanding of who her mother is.
"...hers had been the hardest life of all because she was a strong and intelligent woman
...more
Erika
Another one to add to the short list. A real gem that delivers it all: a great story, compelling characters, and excellent writing, rich with historical detail. It's the coming of age story of a young "coloured" girl in the neighborhood known as District Six, in South Africa's Cape Town. This lively fictional story is set against the very real-life historic events of the neighborhood during the apartheid regime, from the Population Registration Act of the 1950's, to the forced removals of non-wh ...more
Jessica
I have always enjoyed books written about 'adult' topics from a child's perspective. The world is an entirely different place in their eyes, and I think it is important to be reminded of what it is like from time to time. Told through the perspective of Lily Daniels is a story of growing up in South Africa as the apartheid threatens all she and her family knows. Surrounding the darkness of this theme, however, is an incredibly moving circle of family and friends alike. It is their stories mixed ...more
Kerrie
Readable but not noteworthy. Too few pages given to the why behind the what of the story. For a book about such a glaring violation of rights, the effects of the laws seems to have been played down quite a bit for the sake of building a character sketch of a sad and relatable family. The author's prologue sets you up for an entirely different read than what you end up getting.
Tiah
I have had a good spat of books in the last few months, and this is one of them. Not only has this book helped bring me more in tune with my new country, but it also lifted me out of my "comfort reading style". Written in a unique way that I initially found annoying, but later grew to embrace.
Jane Taylor
Being a born and bred Cape Townion, I lived through every page of this well written account of the removal and relocation of the people living in Distict Six in the 60's and 70's. It touched me deeply.
Denise
A story about a family and their struggle during the population registration act of 1950 in Cape Town which is told through the eyes of an 11 year old girl. The valley describes Mowbray and district 6.
Sandy Mohonathn
An awesome read which brings back painful memories of growing up in the days of apartheid. Written with simplicity and a subtle humorous touch. A good illustration of the joy received in the simple.
Tessa
This novel covers the "resettlement" of District 6 in Cape Town. For that reason alone, it's worth a read. But for whatever reason, I wasn't drawn into the story like I expected to be.
Catherine
Read this because a South African friend recommended it. It took a long time to get into, but it was really interesting to read, especially after coming back from South Africa.
Adrian
Maybe 3.5 stars. It's a good fiction book about that time in South African history but some of the stylistic choices annoyed me.
Issi
Loved it! South Africa during apartheid. Cleverly written in the eyes of an 11 year old girl. You'll weep!
Natalie Way-jones
What a fantastic book- very insightful and sad but has a lingering joy about it too. A greatread
Andrew
A lively depiction of life for 'mixed race' South Africans under apartheid.
Alta Cloete
'n Onvergeetlike boek oor gewone mense binne 'n stelsel vasgevang.
Teryl
Really enjoyed it and the SA background was very special
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