Child of the River
Three stories converge within these pages. Put yourself into the shoes of the major and even minor players within, and then talk about “consequences.” Persomi is a young white woman living on a farm in the South African Bushveld. Her story begins just before WWII breaks out, and her brother is forced to fight in the English army although their family is Afrikaner in loyalty. Persomi doesn’t know who her real father is, a condition that will shape her sense of integrity forever. The child of a poor bywoner or sharecropper, Persomi possesses intelligence that will free her from poverty but never destroy her deep love for the surrounding Bushveld rivers and mountains, described in mesmerizing language.
As Persomi becomes older and educated, she works to become a lawyer and represent the victims of the Ghetto Laws, Indian settlers in South Africa who experience a form of apartheid hardly known by the outside world. Laws have heart-wrenching, far-reaching consequences. Persomi fights for these settlers to remain where they have lived and done business for decades; their plight is hardly recognized by those who rule according to Aryan theory. Her courage in the face of this travesty is astounding,
Another nice touch concerns her friendship with a male character, someone who knows her better than her own brother. Finally, there is the looming romance between Persomi and Boelie Fourie, which is forsaken because of a familial connection Persomi falsely believes. However, their love story adds a wonderful balance to this novel’s pages, which are fraught with hard living. True love touches every fabric of life in and around Persomi and other characters. Potent, stunning historical fiction that is an amazing read!