July's People

by Nadine Gordimer | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0140061401 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingjlautnerwing of Henderson, Nevada USA on 8/20/2014
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingjlautnerwing from Henderson, Nevada USA on Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Arrived today from Betterworldbooks.com.

Journal Entry 2 by wingjlautnerwing at San Luis Obispo, California USA on Monday, September 15, 2014
Quite a remarkable tale.

Gordimer has an unusual style of writing. It took me a few pages to get into it. I think it's worth working through.

In the 1970s, when South Africa was in turmoil, with black South Africans violently uprising, the white, liberal Smales family leaves their home in a rush. They follow their long-time servant, July, to his native home in the wild. As a rule, July only returned to his home every couple of years. Meantime, he sent money to his wife. Ever the faithful servant, he takes it upon himself to rescue his former employers.

The family is established in a hut built for another family member, which causes some resentment among July's family. Maureen and Bam Smales and their three children do not want to be waited upon, and try to pull their weight. The children, it turns out, adjust most easily to their new surroundings and companions, and are soon as happy running and jumping into the nearby muddy water as they ever were with their more sophisticated toys back home.

The story is told primarily from Maureen's point of view, although we get glimpses from the others. How she interprets what July says, how she tries to emulate the village women in what they do, how she worries about what will happen next. Any day they know they may be discovered. They know that villagers may give them away. And then what?

As the story progresses we gain insight into how July sees them and how his behavior and thinking changes. Does the Smales family have any idea at all about what others feel and think about them? Do they know how to behave?

The story shook me up. It put me right there with them, and when I think about it now, several weeks after finishing it, those feelings come right back.

Journal Entry 3 by wingjlautnerwing at San Luis Obispo, California USA on Thursday, September 25, 2014
Leaving on my porch for a fellow book club member to pick up. She may return it or not. I'd be delighted if she found a new home for it.

Journal Entry 4 by wingjlautnerwing at Little Free Library on San Marcos Ct. in San Luis Obispo, California USA on Saturday, October 18, 2014

Released 7 yrs ago (10/18/2014 UTC) at Little Free Library on San Marcos Ct. in San Luis Obispo, California USA

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