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Nature Lessons: A Novel

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  38 ratings  ·  12 reviews
A first-rate, beautifully-written novel about an émigré living in the States who goes back to her native South Africa to look for her missing mother--a fictional debut that will be a draw both to critics and to readers of fine, accessible fiction

Set against a backdrop of South Africa's troubled history, natural beauty, and complex contemporary society, Nature Lessons is a
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Paperback, 288 pages
Published July 1st 2004 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published 2003)
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Average rating 3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  38 ratings  ·  12 reviews


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Donna
Aug 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mental-health, novel
Although this is a novel, it reads so realistically that I kept thinking it was memoir. The main character grows up as a white girl in Apartheid South Africa with a mentally unstable and paranoid mother. One of those set ups would have made for an interesting story, but the combination is what makes it memorable. The book sticks with you because of the good character development and details. It is also part mystery, as the adult girl, who has immigrated to the US, returns to South Africa to find ...more
Beth
Dec 17, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nature, fiction
I thoroughly enjoyed this book which travels back and forth in time without much effort on behalf of the reader. If you enjoyed the ever-popular Eat, Pray, Love, I'd recommend this book. It has a bit more of a historical backdrop to it and the characters are well-developed. ...more
Merel Ela
Jan 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a journey into the difficult childhood , familytrauma and the history of apartheid in the humid city of Durban . This gives the reader a complicated puzzle of Who is guilty and Who did Speak the truth. After all the child often bear the Brunt of the trauma of the parents, forfathers, political system. The writer makes an interesting journey And iT was a real pageturner!
Lynette
Sep 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm the author, so I rather liked it...!
...more
Karen
Jun 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Interesting
Kathleen
Apr 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
Liked this a lot. Sort of a mystery novel cloaked in some wonderful writing. I saw the writer speak at an event and I enjoyed reading the book even more than I thought I would. Premise is a South African woman now living in the U.S. returns to South Africa (post-apartheid) to search for her missing mother. is the mother mentally ill? Or was she really the target of the nationalist apartheid government when the protagonist was a little girl? Beautifully written.
Julia
Jul 23, 2011 added it
I stayed up far too late to finish this in one day, because I couldn't put it down and wait.

I disliked how (view spoiler), but it fits the narrative. However, I did feel the MC would be less able to let it go than she was in the end.
...more
Jill Jepson
Jul 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Family intrigue, politics, love, and childhood memories intertwine in this charming and unique story set in South Africa.
Kim
Aug 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
South African fiction....1960s-2000s SA....cross between Memoir and mystery: girl with paranoid mother pieces together her past.
Amanda
Jul 29, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: summer_reads
Altogether readable.
Marlowe
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May 12, 2019
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Vicki Halphide
Sep 06, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Vicki by: K^2 Book Club
Met the author at book club.
Tyra
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Feb 20, 2015
Dolley Carlson
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May 06, 2018
Martha
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Jan 08, 2008
Barbara
rated it it was amazing
Oct 29, 2007
Allison
Dec 08, 2007 rated it really liked it
set in South Africa, a poignant and intense story of a woman, her mother, and family secrets
Jolene
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Jul 02, 2012
Dianne Russell
rated it it was amazing
Oct 16, 2007
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