Author: Thuli Nhlapo
Publisher: Kwela Books
Shunned by her paternal family while growing up, Thuli embarks on an arduous journey to find her “true” identity.
Although she tries hard to impress her father and paternal grandmother, nothing she does is ever worthy of praise in their eyes. Instead she has to endure years of being shamed and called names due to how “different” she looks from the rest of her father’s side of her family.
Nhlapho takes the reader on an emotional roller coaster as she tries to her find herself and her place in the world. While story is often times tear-jerking and frustrating, it is also infused with humour. “In this saga, only one person knew exactly what had happened but she remained mum (excuse the pun). But that is how Mother is,” an extract from the book reads.
Nhlapo makes it easy for the reader to connect with her and her struggles. In parts, I found myself getting angry because everyone knew the truth yet they simply refused to let her know. When she finally finds out the truth, it is somewhat shattering.
However, I was not as shocked as I suspect it should have been as it became apparent, at least for me, that her truth was not as hidden from her as she had thought. Overall, this is a magnificent book that may have you questioning certain things in life. – Lillian Selapisa