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The Peace Garden by [Veitch Smith, Fiona]
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The Peace Garden Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Length: 240 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 535 KB
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Crafty Publishing (25 Sept. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005PP3VK6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #439,163 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this story: it's different, and it really gets you involved in, andhelps understanding, how South Africa is and was. I loved and admired VeitchSmith's ability to reproduce the Geordie accent in the early parts of the story.
The enormous sweep of years she has to deal with is a knotty problem for any historical story, and she manages this well, though I felt she could almost have written 2 books (it wouldn't make a trilogy) - the background and the resolution - but that wouldn;t have been a mystery which is obvoiusly what she wanted to do. So inevitably there is a bit of squashing and author-telling, whichkindof interupts the flow of action.
She also seems to drop her lovely Geordie accents at the far end of the book, which I regretted, since she does it so well. For these things, I dropped one star, as it's not quite perfect - but buy it, read it, and enjoy.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the fascinating tale of an uneasy mix between English suburban values and South African apartheid, which builds up to an unexpectedly explosive finale. The unlikely starting-point of plants being stolen from the gardens of a quiet Newcastle street draws you in, as does the deftly-portrayed character of young Natalie Porter, a floating trophy of her parents' ever-shifting diplomatic/journalistic lifestyle, who finds a semblance of permanence staying with her Geordie grandmother - and leaps at the opportunity to emulate her fictional heroine, girl-detective Nancy Drew.
Natalie's sleuthing efforts bring her into contact with an enigmatic black South African academic and his teenage son living at the end of the road. Everyone has them down as the plant thieves; and issues of racial prejudice are sensitively explored both in the English suburban context and, later, in South Africa itself.
Interwoven with the escalating mystery of the missing plants and the past lives of the possible perpetrators - which brings the reader unavoidably face-to-face with the tragic history of apartheid - is the delicately portrayed off-and-on romance that develops between young Natalie and Thabo, the bitter South African teenager now forced by circumstances to live with his father in Britain. Is he a `good guy' or a `bad guy'? Natalie's doubts on this score - and the reader's - persist almost to the last page.
This is a great story, with a compulsively page-turning conclusion, which also gives the reader an inside look at many of the conflicting issues of racial prejudice in its most notorious institutional expression - apartheid South Africa.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This was a compelling story - a seemingly 'safe and predictable' English way of life caught up with some of the brutal complexities of apartheid.
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By Wendy Jones VINE VOICE on 17 Sept. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
This is a book on two levels. At its most basic it is about a young girl who sets out to investigate why plants are going missing in an English suburb. This seemingly simple premise leads to an exciting thriller which takes the reader on a roller coaster ride. It plays out in both England and South Africa. This is during the apartheid era and the depiction of life for black South Africans during this time is superb. The characters are well rounded and come across as real. The reader can almost palpably feel the anger emanating from Thabo, a young Black teenager. Natalie, the main character is also real and the reader sees her grow and develop throughout the book. Veitch Smith is an excellent writer and I look forward to reading more from her.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is a roller coaster of a book. And like all roller coasters, it sets off deceptively slowly.

At first it seems the only thing to disturb the suburban tranquillity of the aptly named Jasmine Close is the theft of a few plants – and the concern that Granny might not win this year’s Most Beautiful Garden contest.

Then, just when we think it’s safe to relax, the roller coaster picks up speed. Suddenly we find ourselves plunged into a different world of mystery, suspicion, racism, sexual awakening and international politics.

Perhaps the most impressive thing about the book is the author’s ability to hold together the two worlds, and to do that convincingly.

At first, I wasn’t sure about the title: Peace Garden sounded a bit uninspiring. But now, you might say, it’s grown on me. If we’re going to end international conflict and live together in peace, we need to start treating our small planet as a garden and not as a battlefield.

And that’s going to take trust and a lot of love. Which is what this book is really about.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My wife gave me this book to read, even though she still had not finished, after rave reviews from family in south africa who are originally from north east england.
I have to say that I really enjoyed the fact that I recognised a lot of the places and geordie talk in the book, but even better was the way the story progressed into a very surprising and enjoyable read involving folk from south africa and the struggle that went on there.
Great relationships amongst the characters just enhanced the whole experience.
Recommended to all unsuspecting readers.
Allen.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The narrator of this compelling story is Natalie, an anxious yet courageous young woman growing up in apartheid South Africa and suburban Tyneside. Obsessed by her fictional heroine, girl-detective Nancy Drew, Natalie becomes curious about the mysteries in the lives of her neighbours in the quiet cul-de-sac. While a tender romance develops between young Natalie and Thabo, we're never sure whether he can be trusted. The reader is seduced by this deceptively gentle start. As we're drawn into the world of the story it becomes a much more threatening, violent and dangerous place. The bitterness of the struggle against apartheid is clearly evoked and we feel the terror of those who lived through that dark time. The poison of racial prejudice is explored in both in the English and South African settings. The beauty of that country is conveyed in rich, vivid writing. The plotting is ingenious. The twists and turns of the story are completely unexpected and deliver us to an explosive denouement.\n \nThe nature of the uneasy alliances in the liberation struggle is conveyed well. These delicate bonds are torn apart as the struggle is won, yet the violence lingers on, echoing down the years and across the world. \n\nThe characters are drawn with humour and sympathy. Fiona Veitch Smith is a far more cheerful version of JM Coetzee. She deals with the same material but with a genre slant and in a more uplifting way.\n A very well crafted book. I look forward to reading the sequel.
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