Bitter Fruit

by Achmat Dangor | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 1843542641 Global Overview for this book
Registered by stephjb of Torquay, Devon United Kingdom on 10/14/2016
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by stephjb from Torquay, Devon United Kingdom on Friday, October 14, 2016
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Journal Entry 2 by stephjb at Torquay, Devon United Kingdom on Friday, October 14, 2016
I am finding Bitter Fruit a difficult book to review mainly, I think, because despite striving to understand the Ali family, their actions were frequently too far removed from my own life experience to be able to empathise. Lydia's rape, while not graphically described, is a dark, brooding presence throughout the novel, one single vicious act which is symbolic of the many similar assaults inflicted during South Africa's apartheid years. The unravelling of its aftermath took a while to pull me in and it wasn't until the second half of Bitter Fruit that I found the book strongly maintained my interest. That said, this is a worthwhile book to read! It is a slow burn of a piece; gently paced prose in sharp contrast to the violence and anger it describes.

Dangor evokes South Africa at perhaps the second of its greatest recent turning points when the Truth and Reconciliation Committee is about to submit its report to the nation and another president will replace Mandela. On the face of it, the country is at peace with itself and set to progress into the future and the same applies to the Ali family who are also, on the face of it, a closely-tied unit. Silas' legal profession will remain in demand as his TRC work is coming to a close and son Mikey is set for college and a career of his own. But it just takes one chance encounter to release deeply-buried memories and the whole house of cards slowly collapses in on itself. The question of Bitter Fruit is whether what is true for one family within South Africa might also become truth for the country herself. Is the legacy of decades of brutal suppression and oppression too much to be overcome?

Stephanie Jane @ Literary Flits
litflits.blogspot.co.uk

Journal Entry 3 by stephjb at Visto Lounge in Torquay, Devon United Kingdom on Monday, November 07, 2016

Released 3 yrs ago (11/7/2016 UTC) at Visto Lounge in Torquay, Devon United Kingdom

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