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3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  70 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
A run-down block of flats in central Cape Town becomes a young girl's gallery of self-discovery in this moving story of the emotional carnage caused by civil wars in Africa. Drug dealers from Nigeria, Zimbabwean wire-workers, immigrants from Rwanda and Sudan, a Mozambican refugee - all escaping the ruins of war in the peace of the new South Africa - bear down on her fragil ...more
Published November 30th 2000 by David Philip, Publishers
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Jun 23, 2013 Lisa rated it it was amazing
A friend from Cape Town lent me this book. Written in short chapters, in the voice of a teenage girl, it captures a world. "Skyline" is the run-down tenement apartment building where she lives with her mute little sister. Their mother has all but abdicated her role, but the neighbors, each a remnant of the wars and other horrors pouring illegally into South Africa from the north, become the sisters "family." Every chapter mysteriously concludes with a description of a painting, so vivid, down to ...more
Apr 25, 2016 Zandile rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apartments and homes in a small area of Cape Town, South Africa spill their occupants' stories and the reader views the variety of life that comes to South Africa from so many neighboring countries.

A young girl tries to make sense of these stories, all the while navigating life in Cape Town with an emotionally distraught sister. Told as if the stories were disjoint vignettes, each chapter ends with a description of a painting - seemingly depicting the exact story we were just privy to. It all co
Maja Markiola
Jan 05, 2015 Maja Markiola rated it really liked it
A very heart-warming novel for all ages. The writing style is very special but you get used to it, and soon you won't even notice it. The stories of the people in Skyline are both terrible and very interesting. Refreshing with an environment that's outside of the privileged western bubble. The more you read the better it gets, give it a chance!
Erin Reilly-Sanders
Aug 01, 2010 Erin Reilly-Sanders rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, teen, foreign
This one was really not a lot of fun for me. I found the visual descriptions of paintings at the end of every short chapter quite annoying for a couple reasons, most of which are likely my fault and not necessary the author's. I couldn't figure out why they were there. This is made evident at the end of the story, but still doesn't quite seem to work. My biggest frustration is that they didn't include the pictures in anyway and it felt like the visual was such an important component of the book.
Jun 13, 2016 Goretti rated it really liked it
A book many young learners can relate to. The young narrator's experiences within a broken home (in the city of cape town) interweave with the plight of illegal immigrants and refugees. Poetically told by Ms Pinnock who has visited our school on 3 occasions over the years. A worthwhile quick read!
Sep 06, 2010 Theron rated it really liked it
It's a bit sad, and very local. I bought it at a bookstore on the same street as the titular apartment building. There's a very cool plot device in which each chapter ends with a description of a painting that relates to that chapter - a device which is unexplained until the last chapter.
Jun 30, 2010 Stefaan rated it did not like it
The worst English book I have read. The characters lack depth, the major themes remain shockingly unexplored, there is a complete and utter lack of any plotline and as a result the book is entirely underwhelming and meaningless.
Ryan James
Dec 04, 2012 Ryan James rated it it was amazing
If you want to know the underbelly of Cape Town, experiencing culture at a micro level, this book will tour you there and drain your emotions while doing it.

Great for any human to read.
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