By Valerie Poore
Published:May 15, 2011
Genre: Real Life
I bought African Ways on the recommendation of a friend, and I am so glad I did as it is a great story.
The book is the true life story of a family who moved from England to South Africa – looking for the sun. The author wrote ‘I don’t mind being poor, but I do mind being cold as well as poor!’ .... so they moved. I loved that, I wish I had that kind of courage.
It tells the story of the family’s first three years in the country and is told with humor and warmth. The author weaves a tapestry of words that describes the country perfectly, and the love she has for South Africa and its people shines through. Her views on some of the customs and the people she met, is really funny and is told in a rich and colourful way.
One character in particular stands out. He is a young Xhosa boy named Sobriety. The family met him in Port St John’s when they were out on a family excursion. I would so love to see a photo of this young man, the author’s description of him is so perfect – regal and proud. His love and his pride in his country and his willingness to share it with strangers was heart warming – I wonder where he is today. I hope he is still sharing that same love for his environment with others, and that he is well.
So much has changed in South Africa since the author first arrived in the country, and yet nothing has changed, this is Africa. It is a beautiful and diverse country – but the real treasure is the ordinary people who populate this rainbow nation of ours, they are real, and the author did a great job in getting that across.
I loved this book. It is a great story and is beautifully written. I read the entire book with a grin on my face. This book, for me, is a treasure.