For a book that was written over 60 years ago, it is remarkable how much its speaks to the soul of South Africa. The broken lives of both black and whFor a book that was written over 60 years ago, it is remarkable how much its speaks to the soul of South Africa. The broken lives of both black and white people and how the only redemption is through forgiveness, and working together.
It is a simple story of an old pastor who travels from rural Kwazulu-Natal, to find his son. The place he comes from is impoverished and broken, the land is abused by primitive farming and agriculture and families are broken. It is a land of old men and children because the young leave to work in the cities, serving the industry of white men.
Kumalo ultimately arrives too late, because he cannot save his son from the evils of the big city. It is the tragedy of many Africans who leave their homeland never to return, they are swallowed by the city and its ills, the crime, the booze, and the loose living. Those who survive these ills are lost in a struggle for power or in politics, and stray one way or another. In either way there is no return.
Alan Paton speaks with compassion about the problems of South Africa and points to a solution, that is valid even now. Love the land, work for the land. The idea of redemption is strongly linked in the story with the Christian faith, but it also had a strong element of respecting the wisdom of the land, and believing in the kindness and humanity of other. The human story remains as poignant and fresh today as if Alan Paton has just written it. No wonder that this book is one of the greatest pieces of African writing.
It contains very pointed insight. I was struck especially by the depiction of the traditional African chief. Paton describes through his protagonist, how the white man broke down the traditional tribe, and knocked the chiefs down, then restored them to be rulers over swathes of broken and used up land. It is a sad reality that is perhaps valid all over the world. The puppets are never as good as the real chiefs that would have been born from the wisdom of the land and the people. Excellent book should be read by everyone, especially those connected to Africa and South Africa. ...more
Reading this book is a total experience. It celebrates art and imagination and is appropriately about the movies. I read this just before watching theReading this book is a total experience. It celebrates art and imagination and is appropriately about the movies. I read this just before watching the movie in 3D. The movie producers added some elements of humor and suspense to the story but the focus remains the celebration of the power of imagination. The movie was true to the spirit of visual beauty of the work. As far as plot and writing is concerned the book comes out somewhat light but it is still a fairly enjoyable and short journey. ...more
I like the way Tess Gerritsen writes. In this one she blends the historical background of medical practice in the 19th century with a murder mystery wI like the way Tess Gerritsen writes. In this one she blends the historical background of medical practice in the 19th century with a murder mystery which plays out in the past. The protagonists in the present are studying family artifacts and letters to unravel the mystery of a recently discovered body that has been buried for over a hundred years, and its connection to a serial killer of the 1830s, known as the West End Reaper. The story is an entertaining blend of human emotions, mystery and and historical information.
Of course there is also a lot of human suffering, gory descriptions of murder and dissected bodies, but at least in the world of the novel, all loose strands are tied up and justice is served -in a manner- to both living and dead.
This book has great breadth and I think it could be read on many levels. For one it is a mystery of a murder and an exploration of a complex family hiThis book has great breadth and I think it could be read on many levels. For one it is a mystery of a murder and an exploration of a complex family history. For another it is a testimony on man's abuse to the earth whether in the name of science or personal gain.
Clair Fleetwood is a forensic photographer, who inherits an old house in London's East End. Because of her almost nomadic childhood she yearns to put down roots and relishes the exploration of her family connection to Magda Ironstone (born Fleetwood) who founded the house and had very close connection to the family business in India. She starts up a garden in the backyard of the old house with the help of her friend Sally, but Sally is murdered in the same backyard under mysterious circumstances. Driven by grief and curiosity Claire ends up on an expedition in the remote parts of Tibet, looking for a green poppy that was described at length in some of Magda's papers and was coveted for its miraculous medicinal properties.
On this journey Claire discovers much more than she had bargained for. ...more
I will first start with the title of the book. This is the first time I remember when I look up a title in the dictionary. My digital Collins says: triI will first start with the title of the book. This is the first time I remember when I look up a title in the dictionary. My digital Collins says: triptych [ˈtrɪptɪk:] n 1. a set of three pictures or panels, usually hinged so that the two wing panels fold over the larger central one: often used as an altarpiece 2. a set of three hinged writing tablets From Greek triptukhos, from tri- + ptux plate.
One of the story's characters has a triptych on her mantelpiece. When the two side panels fold over the central one a new image or canvas is formed. There is a blurb on the book cover: Three people with something to hide. One killer with nothing to lose. I believe the Triptych reference is to these three people and the way their deception makes things take different forms at different times.
I bought this book after I read Fractured by the same author because I liked the character of Special Agent Will Trent and wanted to read more about his personal story. This book did not disappoint, as the plot moved at a cracking pace. There were plenty of unexpected twists that kept me turning the pages, and re-reading some parts to discover how the author expertly wove the pattern of deception.
I love the way Karin Slaughter handles her characters. Unlike clean predictable sleuths such as Temperance Brennan (Kathy Reich's forensic anthropologist), Karin Slaughter comes up with more vulnerable and gritty characters for her police force. They show many human frailties that anyone can relate to and sympathize with. Her characters fight their private battles as they are fighting crime, and this makes them all the more appealing.
The story starts with the murder and mutilation of Aleesha Munroe, a prostitute and a drug addict living in one of Atlanta's rough neighborhood. Detective Michael Ormwood is in charge, but he soon finds out that he needs to work with Special Agent Will Trent from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI). Will Trent is helping out because the murder has some similarities with other attacks around the state. Within 24 hours Michael's next door neighbor is found dead in his backyard and in order to solve the mystery the two men need to look back into a past that refuses to stay buried.
I will not elaborate more on this excellent thriller in order not to spoil it for future readers. More than just a good thriller the story challenges the perceptions of right and wrong, justice and injustice. It showed the grim reality of prison and why a convicted felon almost always ends up back in prison.
I will remember many characters in this book. For example there was the mother character who fought bravely and unrelentingly for her son, it was a character I related to. She stands in contrast to the mother who fought blindly for her son doing a lot of damage to people's lives in the process. Another character later in the book speaks poignantly about her children: "It's the most wonderful blessing God has given us, our ability to bring a child into the world. You hold them in our arms that first time, and they are more precious than gold. Every breath you take after that is only for your child". This is so very true.