Read advance reader review of Scatterlings by Resoketswe Martha Manenzhe, page 4 of 5

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A Novel

by Resoketswe Martha Manenzhe

Scatterlings by Resoketswe Martha Manenzhe X
Scatterlings by Resoketswe Martha Manenzhe
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There are currently 29 member reviews
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  • Dorothy L. (Manalapan, NJ)
    I was looking forward to reading this book but I found it a difficult read. I enjoyed the first part of the book more but found the second part very challenging and slow. I can understand where it might appeal to some readers but it was not worth it for me. The language is often lyrical but ultimately I did not find it a fulfilling read so I was disappointed and will be surprised if it will gain a mass audience in the U.S.
  • Becky H. (Manassas, VA)
    Great descriptions and Native tales, but ultimately frustrating
    I SO wanted to like this book. The premise of the story, a racially blended family caught in the prejudice and cruelty of the Immorality Act in South Africa, is fascinating. Abram, a White, is condemned by the beloved children born to him and his Native (Black) wife, Alisa. What to do? What to do? If he stays, he will have his property confiscated, and his children taken away. If he goes, he leaves behind the work of generations on his estate and he himself and his family will become stateless. His wife makes a terrible choice and that is where the tale begins.
    Unfortunately, the writing style made me constantly feel as though I had missed a paragraph, or page, or even chapter, of the plot. I was constantly trying to put inferences and comments together to make sense of the story. It was very frustrating to try to follow the story line when I felt I was missing vital information.
    I quite enjoyed the "tales" of the Native people imbedded in the story. The descriptions of the land and people were delightful, making the reader a part of Africa. All in all, worth my time, but very frustrating. I would not recommend this title to my book group.
  • Chris H. (Wauwatosa, WI)
    This book has a highly interesting piece of history to share! For a reason I can't quite put my finger on, I found it challenging to read. It kept occurring to me that perhaps the difficulty was in a translation? Or maybe just not for me at this time. I felt as though I was reading just to finish it. But it will stay on my bookshelf for perhaps a revisit at another time.
  • Dorothy H. (Folsom, CA)
    South Africia 1927
    I was wanting more about the impact of the Immorality Act of 1927 on the residents of Cape Town. I also found it a bit confusing at the start with the "stories" and rituals of the non white residents. As I read further on this lessened. The author is very descriptive of the area. The story is about one family (father white, mom black and two children) and the impact of the new law.
  • Carrie D. (Freeport, ME)
    good writing?
    Sometimes I really liked this book, and other times I needed to reread to be sure I was catching the right meaning...and then I still wasn't sure. I was really interested in the subject matter, but I was just not drawn in to the characters and I did not feel enlightened about how the South African Immorality Act effected people during that time. I was more disappointed than drawn in.
  • Leslie G. (Peabody, MA)
    Poetic, but Slow
    At one point in the novel, the speaker mentions the description and analysis of a sunset as being "excessive and unnecessary." While there are moments of poetic descriptions of nature in Scatterlings, sometimes the passages are just too extensive. In contrast, the storyline and characters often seem not nearly as fleshed out. I was left with many unanswered questions because I never felt invested enough in the characters and their situations because of this lack of specificity.
  • Jane H. (Prospect, KY)
    I have mixed feelings about this book. It wasn't an easy read..I am assuming this is a translation just by the cadence of the text. There was so much African history and folklore appearing around the actual storyline… I enjoyed that part thoroughly. The story itself seemed a little too fairy tale-ish …it didn't match the gravity of the racial history underlying it all. I would have preferred a much more straightforward approach by the writer. I understand, though, that the very thing I found unappealing was probably the most meaningful to the writer herself.

    I enjoyed it…a very different reading experience.

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