Cynthia (Bingeing On Books)'s Reviews > Another Woman's Daughter

Another Woman's Daughter by Fiona Sussman
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Sep 30, 2015

really liked it
bookshelves: arcs, historical-fiction

I received this ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.

The language in this book was absolutely riveting. I was fascinated to read a book set in apartheid South Africa. This is very different from the stuff I suavely read, but in a good way. Celia is a black maid who works for a white couple in Johannesburg. She has three other sons who live far away with her mom, but her daughter (Miriam) lives with her. Celia is worried about her daughter because the violence is getting worse. So when Celia's employers offer to adopt Miriam and take her with them to England, she agrees because she feels her daughter will be better off. The book goes from Miriam's POV to Celia's and spans decades.

Miriam experiences a lot of racism and bullying in England, while Celia struggles so hard to make a life for herself, despite the fact that she is heartbroken at being separated from her daughter. I think the author did a great job of showing the racism that Celia experienced on a daily basis. It was also interesting to see the difference between Celia's life in South Africa and Miriam's life in England. Even though Miriam has a nice home and is treated a bit better (legally speaking), she still experiences daily bullying and taunts because of her race. Eventually, Miriam decides to go back to South Africa to try and find out who she is and to find her birth mother. The author did a great job telling the different story of these two women who are just trying to find their place in the world and trying to find their way back to each other. There was so much emotion there. One thing that I think the author held back little with is the violence and politics playing out in South Africa. We just kind of heard about some of the violence second hand, but then nothing would come of it. In that respect, I think the author could have delved a little further. Otherwise, this was a great and emotional story.
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Reading Progress

September 30, 2015 – Started Reading
September 30, 2015 – Shelved
October 1, 2015 – Shelved as: arcs
October 3, 2015 – Finished Reading
February 4, 2016 – Shelved as: historical-fiction

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