Hum If You Don't Know the Words

Hum If You Don't Know the Words

Book - 2017
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Life under Apartheid has created a secure future for Robin Conrad, a ten-year-old white girl living with her parents in 1970s Johannesburg. In the same nation but worlds apart, Beauty Mbali, a Xhosa woman in a rural village in the Bantu homeland of the Transkei, struggles to raise her children alone after her husband's death. Both lives have been built upon the division of race, and their meeting should never have occurred. Until the Soweto Uprising, in which a protest by black students ignites racial conflict, alters the fault lines on which their society is built, and shatters their worlds when Robin's parents are left dead and Beauty's daughter goes missing. After Robin is sent to live with her loving but irresponsible aunt, Beauty is hired to care for Robin while continuing the search for her daughter. In Beauty, Robin finds the security and family that she craves, and the two forge an inextricable bond through their deep personal losses. But Robin knows that if Beauty finds her daughter, Robin could lose her new caretaker forever, so she makes a desperate decision with devastating consequences. Her quest to make amends and find redemption is a journey of self-discovery in which she learns the harsh truths of the society that once promised her protection.
Publisher: New York :, G.P. Putnam's Sons,, [2017]
ISBN: 9780735218260
9780399575068
Branch Call Number: FICTION MAR
Characteristics: 420 pages ; 24 cm

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From Library Staff

This story is alternately told from the viewpoints of Robin Conrad, a young white girl living in Johannesburg under Apartheid, and Beauty Mbali, a Xhosa woman living in a rural village. Their lives intersect when Robin’s parents are killed and Beauty’s daughter disappears during the Soweto uprisi... Read More »

This story is alternately told from the viewpoints of Robin Conrad, a young white girl living in Johannesburg under Apartheid, and Beauty Mbali, a Xhosa woman living in a rural village. Their lives intersect when Robin’s parents are killed and Beauty’s daughter disappears during the Soweto uprisi... Read More »


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