Title: Stones for my Father
Author: Trilby Kent
Publisher: Tundra Books
Pub date: March 2011
Source: I received a copy of this book from Tundra Books to read and review.
About the book:
The Boer War was disastrous for the British: 22,000 of them died. Close to 7,000 Boers died. Nobody knows how many Africans lost their lives, but the number is estimated to be around 20,000. This tragic, and little remembered, chapter in history is the backdrop for Trilby Kent’s powerful novel.
Corlie Roux’s father has always told her that God gave Africa to the Boers. Her life growing up on a farm in South Africa is not easy: it is beautiful, but it is also a harsh place where the heat can be so intense that the very raindrops sizzle. When her beloved father dies, she is left in the care of a cold, stern mother who clearly favors her two younger brothers. But she finds solace with her African maitie, Sipho, and in Africa itself.
Corlie’s world is about to vanish: the British are invading and driving Boers from their farms. The families who do not surrender escape to hidden laagers in the bush to help fight off the British. When Corlie’s laager is discovered, she and the others are sent to an internment camp.
Corlie is strong and can draw on her knowledge of the land she loves, but is that enough to help her survive the starvation, disease, and loss that befalls her in the camp?
Today I am lucky enough to be one of the host on the tour for Stones for my Father. You can check out the other blogs who have toured the book so far and read their reviews and interviews with the author Trilby Kent. Thanks Tundra Books and Slyvia for allowing me to be a part of this tour.
In 2009, I got to read and review Trilby’s debut YA novel called Medina Hill and really enjoyed it so when I was given this chance to review Stones for my Father I couldn’t resist.
Stones for my Father is completely different from Medina Hill. The story is set during the Boer War in South Africa.
If you are a regular reader of my blog you know that I don’t read historical fiction or anything on wars but I am always willing to make the exception when it comes to an author I have read in the past and enjoyed. I do remember learning about the Boer Wars briefly in history class when I was in high school but sadly history wasn’t my strong point so needless to say as I started to read the book little bites and pieces would surface and I would say “Oh yea I remember that now.”
I think had they made history a little bit more fun I think I would have enjoyed it more and thankfully thanks to blogging it has given me the chance to experience and enjoy books that I would normal not pick up and read.
Once I started to read about Corlie (a twelve year old girl) I quickly became engrossed in the story and managed to read it in one sitting. The story isn’t just about the Boer War but one girls struggle to survive when it seems like the odds were stacked up against her.
There was times that I wished I could have jumped in the book and stood up for Corlie when it was evident her mother was mean and nasty towards this little girl. I think living in this siutation forced Corlie to grow up sooner that she needed too. Her mother was a real piece of work and you could see through out the story that she favored Corlie’s brothers over her.
When the family has to leave because the British are coming they take what little they can and head to meet up with the others at the laagers. Shortly after meeting up at the laagers they are invade and the women and children are sent to the internment camp.
Life at the internment camp isn’t all that perfect, people are dying from dieases and starvation. Food and water is rationed and if you are lucky you will get food but barely enough to survive. Thankfully Corlie and her family are able to get food but Corlie manages to help out the other women of the camp to get some extra food. Things are going good until Corlie makes a mistake and does the wrong thing. Before she knows it she is being called a thief and is kick out of the tent by her mother.
Will she survive on her own? Or will someone come to her rescue?
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