Oh what a premise: This book pits fundamental Christianity against science. It could’ve come across as the worst type of message fiction, but for the fact that both sides of the argument are well presented. One feels the confusion of the scientists, and the desperation of the locals in equal measure.
The ugly truth: While much of the cultural divisions are intensified because of the small town setting, it still holds true in many ways for the country on the whole. I was friends with somebody who epitomises the staunch Afrikaaner culture, and I’ve known people who are more like JJ. It never fails to disturb me when white people talk to me as though I’m racist just because I’m white. It also hurts every time a black person is racist towards me, or an Afrikaaner brushes me aside because I’m English-speaking, and a woman on top of it. It’s not wide-spread, thank heavens, but it does exist.
Simple Science: A couple of complicated scientific concepts come up in this book. For the most part, the author does an excellent job of explaining them simply enough for anyone to understand.
Nitty gritties: The descriptions are succinct but grabbing, and the plot moves at a steady pace.
It’s home: I’ve been trying to read more books by South African authors, and this one fit the bill perfectly.
What I didn’t like:
More nitty gritties: The style is messy. In some places it comes across as third person omniscient while the majority of the book is written in the third person (?). Sentences also tend to be on the long side.
An excellent story that broaches a delicate topic in a sensitive manner. It’s easy to connect with the characters, and the plot retains momentum throughout. While it’s a little more raw talent than polish in some ways, this doesn’t detract from the book. It was difficult to put down once I was into it, and I’ll definitely read it again.
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