Friday, November 11, 2016

Child of the River - A Book Review

I love to read a good fiction novel that is rich in history.  I was instantly drawn to Child of the River by it's beautiful cover and the back of the book drew my interest deeper.  I am so glad I picked this book up.  It led me into a piece of history that I knew little about and it was a book that I didn't want to put down.

The Author Irma Joubert was a history teacher for 35 years before she began writing fiction.  Her stories are known for their deep insight into personal relationships and rich historical detail.  This is exactly what I love in a book.  Child of the River was the first book I have ever read by this author, but it won't be my last.  She made me an instant fan.

Persomi is young, white, and poor, born the middle child of illiterate sharecroppers on the prosperous Fourie farm in the South African Bushveld.  Persomi's  world is extraordinarily small.  She has never been to the local village and spends her days absorbed in the rhythms of the natural world around her, escaping the brutality and squalor of her family home through the newspapers and books passed down to her from the main house and through her walks in the nearby mountains.

Persomi's close relationship with her older brother Gerbrand and her fragile friendship with Boelie Fourie - heir to the Fourie farm and fortune - are her lifeline and her only connection to the outside world.  When Gerbrand leaves the farm to fight on the side of the Anglos in WWII and Boelie joins an underground network of Boer nationalists, Persomi's isolated world is blown wide open.  But as her very small world falls apart, bigger dreams become open to her - dreams of education, a profession, a native country that values justice and equality, and of love.  As Persomi navigates the changing world around her the tragedies of war and the devastating racial strife of her homeland, she finally discovers who she truly is, where she belongs and why her life, and every life, matters.

I would highly recommend this book.  Especially if you are a history buff like myself.  On top of the great historic accuracy there is a strong message of faith and staying true to yourself.

***Thanks to for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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