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Quarter Tones

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  35 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
When Ana returns to the ramshackle cottage of her youth in the seaside village of Noordhoek, near Cape Town, she does so with the intention of sorting out her father’s affairs. It soon becomes clear that more is at stake. After a decade in London, where she has failed to find work as a musician, her return to South Africa puts further distance into an already strained marr ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published June 1st 2008 by Random House UK (first published March 1st 2007)
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Ilyhana Kennedy
The cover of this novel states "One reads it, hardly daring to breathe." (Antjie Krog)
I do wish that publishers would understand the backfire effect of exaggerated claims.
I founding nothing breath holding. It's a gentle meandering story of adjustment to loss and change. That's it. Simple.
The narrative keeps the reader engaged. There's a lack of resolution in Ana's relationships with neighbour Franz and husband Michael. The reader is left to draw their own conclusion, obvious enough in relation t
...more
Caroline
Like Michael and Ana Luisa, I came of age during the tail end of Apartheid -- but on the far side of the Earth and well-removed from the political discourse surrounding it. I know next to nothing about South Africa and Rhodesia/Zimbabwe, except that my two favorite children's wear companies are located there. This book was written by a South African for a South African audience, which made it more difficult to follow, but I was riveted nonetheless. I'd like to read more African authors after rea ...more
Eleanor
Another book about what nationality means that takes place in the New South Africa. Quarter Tones is a story about a place we all find ourselves in life at some point - absolutely lost. It's tough to really review the book without giving anything away, but it's worth a read to grasp vivid descriptions of Cape Town, London and Paris. Nations are love affairs but they're all facets on the same diamond. It's just what you think you prefer.
Bren
Jul 21, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
its really extraordinary how many novels are being published by white south africans about the dilemma of staying in the country, leaving the country, or returning. That and a million crime novels. This one, about a woman who returns, is quite lovely.
Tiah
Feb 02, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful melody on coming back to South Africa. I selected it strictly due to the recommendation by Krog on the cover. To my joy I discovered a beautiful story which echos so much of what I am exploring in my own work.
Lesley Hay-whitton
A birthday present from a friend of the author. Lovely, poignant read.
Judy Beyer
A sweet and gentle read about love, loss and nostalgia in Noordhoek. I enjoyed it.
Haywol
Aug 31, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nicely written book that was easy to read, not too long a read.
Jmolentin
Pretty hokey writing but easy to read. The most enjoyable parts were about Sam the father, who was a leiuther.
Paige Nick
i enjoyed it. i found it gentle and soothing to read. a bit of an abrupt ending, but still a lovely book.
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Susan Mann was born in Durban in 1967. She has worked in the media and taught at the University of Cape Town. She is currently doing research in France.
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“Does the soul have a passport? Or do you simply pick the branch of the family tree that you prefer, with its preferred location, and hang your history on it?” 3 likes
“The earth. Silently spinning, falling, breaking, reforming each and every millionth of a second. The earth, whose conspiracy it is to give everything it has, to offer up itself and only itself, and all of itself. Then to take back, one at a time, all it has given, every richness, every fragment, every follicle, folding it deep into the furnace of its heart, in a cold and perfect contract.” 2 likes
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