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The Vase With The Many Colored Marbles by [Singer, Jacob]
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The Vase With The Many Colored Marbles Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Kindle Edition, 4 Mar 2012
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Length: 354 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Age Level: 10 - 18

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Product details

  • 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
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #334,306 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Paperback
This is an intriguing book that starts in pre war South Africa with a young girl challenging the racial divide and bravely stepping across to live as a White, virtually abandoning her coloured family in the process. Emily becomes Emma and adopts English as her first language, dresses and styles herself to deny her origins. This is the beginning of her awakening to injustice and her reaction to the prevailing culture and political system of her country which denies her basic opportunities. Encounters with others who have survived and overcome similar prejudice in other countries encourage and help her to carve herself a new place for in South African society and to get and hold down a challenging job. At the same time political awareness begins to emerge and she faces a major dilemma when asked for her hand in marriage by a white man.
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.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I really enjoyed "The Vase with the Many Colored Marbles" from Jacob Singer. This touching story tells the tale of a woman who escapes the poor life of a black girl in Apartheid South Africa and begins a new life in a new city. I loved how romantic the story was and I really love the idea that this was based on a true story. Well worth your time and money. Wonderful!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars 10 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Tale of Two 18 Feb. 2012
By RG Bud Phelps - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The author carefully develops a history of South Africa - a "Tale of Two", first the mother and then her daughter. The development of Emma's life by the author deals with the frustrations of growing up white in a Coloured Community. From the beginning this young girl decided to cross over from Coloured to White, aware of the discrimination that was prevalent. Reading about how she went about this process kept the reader on the edge of their seat, wondering if she will be caught in the process and what will happen when they do. I felt I was right there in South Africa, walking through the various neighborhoods and enjoying the beauty of the country. The reader does have an opportunity to understand so much about the author's family and living conditions but at the time he or she is just speculating what really happened. When an author sucks you into their story to the point that you are concerned for the safety of his characters he has definitely accomplished his goal, and he had me right there. The changes in Emma's life and the advantages that she gained were not easy and I found myself wanting to help her along. The love that was shown throughout the book both in Book One (Emma) and Book Two (Marla) I feel came from the authors caring heart. The undertow of Apartheid throughout the book brought a different awareness to me on how it really was in South Africa during the time frames of the two books. We all have read many stories about Apartheid but this was the most revealing to me. I do not want to tell you more about this wonderful story, other then to say - Enjoy a well written "Tale of Two" and all of their friendships and connections.
5.0 out of 5 stars in depth knowledge in a simple story!wow Mr Singer 21 Feb. 2015
By Shiraz Gani - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful yet simple illustration of the struggle that South African disenfranchised communities suffered. Jacob Singer has put a finger on buttons raising emotion, fact, history,politics, racism and more in a flowing, readable but aptly titled.
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely story 3 Mar. 2014
By Heila - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book very much. It is a great story and keeps you turning the pages. Very well written for a light read.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written and engaging 4 Jan. 2012
By The Paperback Pursuer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback

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.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Live To Read 21 Nov. 2011
By Chels - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The lives of Emma and Marla will absorb a readers' attention. Emma's struggles and achievements touch your heart and inspire you to work harder - improving life for yourself and your family, but also for those around you who experience society's injustices. Marla's storybook romance adds to the enjoyment of the book.

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*
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