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Blade Of Grass

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Description

Set on the border between South Africa and an unnamed country, A Blade of Grass is the taut story of two women, one white and one black, who struggle to save their farm and, ultimately, their lives. Marit, a young woman of British descent, recently orphaned and newly wed, comes to live with her husband, Ben, on their new farm. Despite its Edenic setting, the land explodes in violence and tragedy, and Marit finds herself caught in a tug of war between the local Afrikaner community and the black workers who live on her farm. Frightened, she turns to the only person who can help her, a young woman who is now also alone in the world -- her maid, Tembi.

As the novel builds to its devastating climax, it unfolds a tale both terrifying and hopeful, moving beyond its own time and place to become a universal story of the price of freedom.

From Publishers Weekly

Jul 21, 2003 – By a South African born former editor of the Literary Review of Canada, this ambitious, overwritten novel strives vainly for lyricism while tepidly conveying the chaos and terror arising out of the struggle between white Afrikaaners and native blacks in the 1970s. From childhood a victim of a country sitting on a powder keg of racial upheaval, 18-year-old Tembi, the housekeeper for a newly wed white farming couple, struggles to find a sense of security, planting the seeds from an exotic fruit her father has sent her from the distant city where he works in a gold mine as military jets buzz ominously overhead. Her mistress, the recently orphaned M rit Laurens the uneasy bride of a young Brit lured abroad by dreams of becoming a farmer and the offer of cheap government land suddenly finds herself a widow, with only Tembi to insulate her from the unwelcoming, still half-wild land and the restive, hostile native workers on the farm. Shunned by the white Afrikaaners because she treats Tembi as an equal, M rit rejects their offer to escape the danger of encroaching war, electing to stay on her land because she has nothing else and nowhere to go. The novel plays out as a downward spiral of hopelessness, with the two women suffering unthinkable hardship in the face of almost certain ruin. DeSoto gives little dimension to the South African landscape or the struggle that ravages it, but more serious is his failure to bring his protagonists to convincing life. M rit's tremulous, repetitive musings and Tembi's stoic resolve alter little over the course of the novel, and their stilted, stylized exchanges ("Why are you sad?" "No, I'm happy, Tembi. I'm happy, because you are such a good person") are leached of meaning and substance. 3-city author tour.
Blade Of Grass
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  • $10.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Literary
  • Published: Jan 11, 2011
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Seller: Harper Collins Canada Limited
  • Print Length: 416 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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