Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Shifting Colours by Fiona Sussman

Shifting Colours is set in a domestic service environment during South Africa's apartheid years. Celia is a maid in Johannesburg. Her sons are being brought up by her mother in Soweto; her husband works away, in the mines.
Celia's bright young daughter Miriam lives with her in a small shack in her employer's - the Steiners - garden. After the Sharpeville Massacre the Steiners decide to migrate to England and want to adopt Miriam and take her with them.

Celia reluctantly agrees (after she and Miriam witness some shocking police brutality) in the hope that Miriam will have a better life. Sadly Miriam's life in England is lonely and filled with a different kind of racism, and the Steiners do not keep up the promised contact with Celia. Years later Miriam returns to South Africa to try to find her mother.

I found this novel gripping and powerful. The characters of Celia and Miriam drew me in and the backdrop of apartheid South Africa makes for a compelling read.

Fiona Sussman was brought up in apartheid South Africa and migrated to New Zealand in the 1980's.
Posted by Katrina

Catalogue link: Shifting Colours
Author website: Fiona Sussman

No comments:

Post a Comment