Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Review: Stones for My Father

Author: Trilby Kent
Publication Date: March 8, 2011
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
Copy provided by: Publisher
Summary (via Goodreads):

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?

Why I read this: I really enjoyed Trilby's previous book Medina Hill and was happy to join her tour for Stones of My Father.

Plot: Corlie is constantly feeling her mother's wrath. When they have to abandon their farm to flee the British, she finally finds out why her mother favors her younger brothers over her. This book really tore into my emotions and was quite a turbulent ride. Trilby has again produced a book that really speaks to the reader and gives such a clear view of that time in history it was like I was there with Corlie.

Characters: Corlie was very strong for such a young character. She endured so much after her father died and when she is forced to live in a refugee camp, she uses her wits to make sure she is well fed.

Relatability: I think fans of historical fiction will love this one. Or anyone who likes a strong female lead character.

Cover Commentary: Harrowing, isn't it? I love it, definitely speaks to the novel.

Rating: 5/5 Roses

Find it on Goodreads

TRILBY KENT was born in Toronto, Ontario, but grew up in cities on both sides of the Atlantic. After completing degrees at Oxford University and the London School of Economics, she worked for a time in the rare books department at Bonhams before turning to journalism and writing novels for children and adults. Her first book, Medina Hill, is also available from Tundra Books. Trilby Kent lives in London, England.

Find Trilby on Twitter.

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  1. For some reason, I really want to read this book and now that you have given it 5 roses, I think I will. I have one question, did it make you cry? Because there is something about this cover and that little girls eyes that almost wills me to want to open that book.

  2. Wow, 5 out of 5. This is not a book that I would normally pick up, but I'm going to take a second look b/c of your review. Thanks!

  3. I'm on the tour tomorrow and I am happy to be visiting all the other participants.

  4. Nice review! I hadn't heard of this book, but the premise and cover speak volumes. I'll have to keep an eye out for this one, especially since I love strong heroines. :)

  5. I didn't know Trilby (coolest name ever, BTW) had another book out. I've never read anything about this topic, so I'll keep an eye out for this. Nice review!


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