Yes, Mama Africa left its sign on my skin and in my soul

Excuse this nth bout of self-promotion but among all the beautiful reviews “The Afrikaner” has received on Goodreads, I really felt the urge to share at least one of them with all of you Africa’s lovers – or soon to be:

“Thank you NetGalley, the author Arianna Dagnino and the publisher for an E ARC of ‘The Afrikaner’.

As a White English-Speaking South African now living in the UK, I couldn’t wait to start this book. It’s written so well it transported me home.

So many lines made me stop and close my eyes so that I could fully immerse myself in the feelings the imagery evoked. I ended up googling Ms Dagnino as I was confused to see she was Italian, living in Canada. She had to have lived in Southern Africa, as it has bewitched her to her soul. I could see it in her beautiful writing. I was right. She did indeed spend 5 years living and writing as a reporter in SA.

This book centres around Zoe, an Afrikaner paleontologist struggling to come to terms with the horrific murder of her partner in a hijacking in downtown Joburg. It’s set in 1996 and this resonated with me hugely. I was completing my Master’s degree in South Africa at this time and wrote my thesis on the Social Identity of White English-Speaking South Africans versus the Social Identity of Afrikaans-Speaking South Africans, a theme that is highlighted in this book.

I could write pages and pages on how brilliantly this book depicts transcultural, racial, romantic and magical elements, all woven into an evocative story. But all I will say is if you have lived in South Africa you will love this book, as it will pull at the magic Mama Africa has left in you and if you haven’t ever visited South Africa you will fall in love” (“Mommy Reads and Reviews”)


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