- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 1063 KB
- Print Length: 354 pages
- Publisher: Outskirts Press; v2.0r1.1 edition (4 Mar. 2012)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B007H1T76S
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #334,306 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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|Print List Price:||£16.95|
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The Vase With The Many Colored Marbles Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
The way the story is told eases one into South Africa's politics subtly whilst bringing Emma to life as a vivid and interesting character. As the reader, her dilemmas and fears become yours and the continual twists of the story produce an exciting sequence of colourful and interesting surprises,, much like the eponymous vase filled with many coloured marbles. The vase itself does not appear until well into the story, but from then on it keeps reappearing with a subtle underlying relevance all the way through to the end.
What begins as the story of a young girl crossing the racial divide soon becomes much more, giving intimate insights into different aspects of South African society. Each of these has its own pressures and strains, its own strengths and prejudices, all of which are brought into the spotlight through the situations Emma and her growing daughter encounter.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
The Vase with the Many Coloured Marbles details the lives of Emma and Marla, a mother and daughter living in South Africa from the 1920's until the 1960's, and their struggles to remain safe and unnoticed for their heritage during Apartheid.
Originally I wasn't sure how this book would work since it seemed like two books in one, but after reading, I am glad that the author set it up that way because it made the book and its storyline stronger. Both sections were very interesting and full of rich detail about the characters and the beauty/history of South Africa. I have never read anything about that area and it was quite an eye-opener, both geographically and sociologically. Jacob Singer has a way of depicting South Africa that makes the reader feel like they are there, and his characters, especially Emma and Marla, are well-developed and realistic, often gaining sympathy from the reader. Also, the dialogue was very well-written and strong, adding to the characters' presence. I enjoyed seeing how both the people and the times changed throughout the book, particularly peoples attitudes towards the characters and towards Apartheid. Overall, I learned a wealth of information from this book and met many interesting characters; I recommend this book to anyone interested in learning about the life and history of South Africa, especially Apartheid and its effects on the country.
Rating: On the Run (4/5)
*** I received this book from the author (Bostick Communications) in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
This historical fiction account of life in 1920's through 1960's South Africa concludes with a short chapter - entitled "The Politics" - which gives additional information about events related to apartheid. The two sections of the book focus first on the life of Emma, then on the life of Marla, her daughter.
Emma (Emily,) born into a "coloured" family, feels the injustice of the segregationist society; however because she is able to "pass" as a "white," she crosses barriers that the rest of her family cannot. Emma strongly believes in the power of education. After completing high school, she is determined to attend the university, but her family is large and needs the income she could provide. Rather than work at a low-paying job in Cape Town, Emma decides to use her lighter skin and the English language she perfected to travel to Johannesburg to live and work as a "white." Emma keeps learning, working hard, and making friends, some of whom know her secret. (Some of her friends fled Nazi Germany only to find a similar prejudice infesting the country to which they had escaped.) She sends her family money which they use to improve their house, when permitted, and educate her sisters and brothers. Behind the scenes, she works with and donates money to groups that are attempting to reverse apartheid laws, while also trying to stop the imposition of harsher new laws after the 1960's. Her daughter Marla is raised as a white, but she and many of her college friends protest the government's policies although this always causes Emma to worry that Marla's heritage will be discovered.
Young adult and adult readers will enjoy reading the story of Emily's transformation into Emma, a store lingerie buyer, homeowner, and part-time model. The friendships and romances of both Emma and Marla introduce intelligent, sometimes funny, caring characters into the storyline. For a reader who knows very little about South Africa and its history, the book is a wealth of information about a beautiful country, blessed with rich resources, but troubled by segregationist attitudes which became more established and immoral over time.
*Complimentary copy received for this review, does not affect my opinion in any way*