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Deep and introspective,
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This review is from: Age of Iron (Paperback)
If you like introspective novels, where a character truly goes through thorough self-examination, you will enjoy this. The protagonist in this book is a elderly woman diagnosed with cancer and living in apartheid South Africa. The novel is written as a letter to the protagonist's daughter and this strategy allows the writer to engage his character in a lot of introspection. The woman's cancer is also a metaphor for the cancer of apartheid that is killing her country and her introspection is often directed as much at her country as at herself.
Coetzee is a master of language and a master of metaphor. As she examines the worth of her own life and of her country, the protagonist uses rich language and beautiful, thought-provoking metaphors. Very occasionally, I found this a little overdone, and felt the introspection made the book drag a little as the dying woman waxed lyrical. This did not detract from a very powerful novel, however, a novel which allows the reader a window onto the pointless violence and death of apartheid from the point of view of someone experiencing it firsthand.