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Hum If You Don’t Know The Words

By Bianca Marais


415 pages

Hum If You Don’t Know The Words by Bianca Marais
What’s it about?
Robin Conrad is a 9-year-old white girl living with her parents in Johannesburg in the 1970’s.  When the Soweta uprising happens her world drastically changes.  She will cross paths with a cast of new characters, including Beauty Mbali.  Beauty has come to the city from her rural village to find her college age daughter and bring her home to safety.  Their relationship will forever change how they view “the other side”.
What did it make me think about?
Racism and hope.
Should I read it?
Not only do the characters in this story pull you in, but the plot was so nicely paced that you could almost read this book in one sitting.  Ok- so most of us can’t do that, but you will want to…..  I highly recommend this book and can’t wait to pick up her next novel, If You Want To Make God Laugh. Ms. Marais handles a serious subject with a light touch, just enough humor, and hope for what can be.
​”Our homes are borderless just as the world was once free of boundaries; there would be no walls or roofs at all except for the essential shelter they provide.  Privacy is not a concept my people understand or desire; we bear witness to each other’s lives and take comfort in having our lives seen.  What greater gift can you give another than to say: I see you, I hear you, and you are not alone?”

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