LitPicks Book Reviews—December 2008

Theme—African Trio
A newly elected US president—half African; a reader requesting a book guide for Cry, the Beloved Country; and a daughter studying in Africa all served as inspiration for this month's LitPicks, beautiful books, all.
 
Labels: A Lighter Touch

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The Syringa Tree
Pamela Gien, 2006
254 pp.

Book Review by Molly Lundquist
December 2008

Sometimes you fall in love when you least expect it—which is what happened to me on reading the very first pages of this wonderful book.

Imaginative, independent Elizabeth grows up in a white South African family during the final 25 years of apartheid. Only six, she is doted on by loving parents and by a houseful of black servants—especially her nanny Salamina, with whom she's deeply bonded. Through Lizzy's young eyes, we come to see the brutality of the country's racist system.
 

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Half of a Yellow Sun
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, 2006
528 pp.

Book Review by Molly Lundquist
December 2008

This is a favorite book—an all time favorite, the kind that makes you stand in awe of the stunning power of literature.

Adichie has converted a tragic global event—the secession from Nigeria of ill-fated Biafra (1967-70)—into a rich, complex human drama, one that makes readers care deeply for the characters and their fates.
 
Labels: Great Works

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Cry, the Beloved Country
Alan Paton, 1948
320 pp.

Book Review by Molly Lundquist
December 2008

Who hasn't read this, years ago as a school assignment? Believe me, it's worth another read—in fact, I'd forgotten how much I loved this book.

Beloved Countrytells the story of Stephen Kumalo, a black minister in South Africa, who tries to save his sister from prostitution, his son from a murder charge, and his tribe from disintegration.
 

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