This review is from: Philida (Paperback)
Having studied South Africa and slavery at university I am always fascinated by novels which attempt to give a voice to the voiceless. However, for me, Philida just doesn't work.
The plot is simple. Frans, the son of the plantation owner, has had children with Philida and promised to free her and marry her. When he gets engaged to a white girl, Philida goes to Cape Town to lodge an official complaint against him, using their children as evidence.
I found it interesting that Brink uses Frans and his father Cornelis to narrate parts of the book, but I found their sections uncomfortable to read, given their views of Philida and the other slaves, including rape scenes. Philida herself is interesting but I felt always at arms length from her.
The book doesn't shy away from atrocities but its weighty prose and slow pace kept me from ever feeling truly moved or connected to the novel.
A disappointing read.