Hum If You Don't Know The Words
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Hum If You Don't Know The Words

4.47 (44 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Perfect for readers of The Secret Life of Bees and The Help, a perceptive and searing look at Apartheid-era South Africa, told through one unique family brought together by tragedy. Life under Apartheid has created a secure future for Robin Conrad, a ten-year-old white girl living with her parents in 1970s Johannesburg. In the same nation but worlds apart, Beauty Mbali, a Xhosa woman in a rural village in the Bantu homeland of the Transkei, struggles to raise her children alone after her husband's death. Both lives have been built upon the division of race, and their meeting should never have occurred...until the Soweto Uprising, in which a protest by black students ignites racial conflict, alters the fault lines on which their society is built, and shatters their worlds when Robin's parents are left dead and Beauty's daughter goes missing. After Robin is sent to live with her loving but irresponsible aunt, Beauty is hired to care for Robin while continuing the search for her daughter. In Beauty, Robin finds the security and family that she craves, and the two forge an inextricable bond through their deep personal losses. But Robin knows that if Beauty finds her daughter, Robin could lose her new caretaker forever, so she makes a desperate decision with devastating consequences. Her quest to make amends and find redemption is a journey of self-discovery in which she learns the harsh truths of the society that once promised her protection. Told through Beauty and Robin's alternating perspectives, the interwoven narratives create a rich and complex tapestry of the emotions and tensions at the heart of Apartheid-era South Africa. Hum If You Don't Know the Words is a beautifully rendered look at loss, racism, and the creation of family.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 432 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 38.1mm | 657.71g
  • Putnam Publishing Group,U.S.
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0399575065
  • 9780399575068

Review quote

-An important contribution to literature about racism in South Africa...it's a powerful story and one with a perspective many of us haven't read.- --Terry McMillan Chosen as one of Library Journal's Writers To Watch -Beautiful and tragic, intimate and sweeping, Hum If You Don't Know the Words is a gorgeous debut novel. You don't read this story, you live it. Bianca Marais creates characters with such love and compassion they nearly walk off the page.- --Tish Cohen, author of Town House and The Truth About Delilah Blueshow more

About Bianca Marais

Bianca Marais holds a Certificate in Creative Writing from the University of Toronto's SCS, and her work has been published in World Enough and Crime. Before turning to writing, she started a corporate training company and volunteered with Cotlands, where she assisted care workers in Soweto with providing aid for HIV/AIDS orphans. Originally from South Africa, she now resides in Toronto with her husband.show more

Rating details

44 ratings
4.47 out of 5 stars
5 68% (30)
4 18% (8)
3 7% (3)
2 7% (3)
1 0% (0)
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