BookBrowse Reviews A Beautiful Place to Die by Malla Nunn

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

A Beautiful Place to Die

A Novel

by Malla Nunn

A Beautiful Place to Die
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jan 2009, 384 pages
    Paperback:
    Oct 2009, 384 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Allison Stadd

Buy This Book

About this Book

Reviews

BookBrowse:


A morally complex tale, first in a new mystery series, set in 1950s South Africa

Malla Nunn's experience as a filmmaker shines through her debut novel, the first in a planned series. Her penchant for story-telling and poignant dialogue keep the reader captivated through this suspenseful thriller. Detective Sergeant Emmanuel Cooper is sent to investigate the murder of white policeman Captain Pretorius in the racially divided town of Jacob's Rest, in the North-East of South Africa (map) close to the Mozambique border. Set in 1952, just after the institution of new apartheid laws, the story is mired in racial complexity. Nunn explores the deep layers of tension stewing among the black, colored and Afrikaner residents, adding to the pot Jews, Englishmen and Dutchmen as further complicating factors to blur the line between the oppressed and the oppressors.

Detective Cooper steals our hearts from the first, and has us desperate for his triumph until ...

The Apartheid Laws at Play in A Beautiful Place to Die
Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act, Act No 55 of 1949
Prohibited marriages between white people and black or colored people of other races. Between 1946 and 1949 only 75 mixed marriages were recorded, compared with 28,000 white marriages in total.

Immorality Amendment Act, Act No 21 of 1950
Prohibited adultery, attempted adultery or related immoral acts (such as extra-marital sex) between white and black or colored people.

Population Registration Act, Act No 30 of 1950
Instituted a national register in which every individual's race was recorded. In addition, a Race Classification Board was designed in order to make the final sign-off in disputed cases.

Suppression of Communism Act, Act No 44 of 1950
Outlawed communist activity and the Community Party in South Africa.

Natives (Abolition of Passes and Co-...

Members Only

BookBrowse's reviews and "beyond the book" articles are part of the many benefits of membership and, thus, are generally only available to subscribers, including individual members and patrons of libraries that subscribe.

Join Today


Member Login


Library Patrons

One-Month Free Membership

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Here I Am
    Here I Am
    by Jonathan Safran Foer
    With almost all the accoutrements of upper middle-class suburban life, Julia and Jacob Bloch fit the...
  • Book Jacket: Harmony
    Harmony
    by Carolyn Parkhurst
    In previous novels such as The Dogs of Babel and Lost and Found, Carolyn Parkhurst has shown herself...
  • Book Jacket: Commonwealth
    Commonwealth
    by Ann Patchett
    Opening Ann Patchett's novel Commonwealth about two semi-functional mid-late 20th Century ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Tea Planter's Wife
    by Dinah Jefferies

    An utterly engrossing, compulsive page-turner set in 1920s Ceylon.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Darling Days
    by iO Tillett Wright

    A devastatingly powerful memoir of one young woman's extraordinary coming of age.

    Read Member Reviews

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Circling the Sun
by Paula McLain

An intoxicatingly vivid portrait of colonial Kenya and its privileged inhabitants.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Blood at the Root

Blood at the Root

"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

D C Y C Before T A H

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.