Two determined young girls

2008-10-02 08:05

Pamela Jooste returns to Cape Town's coloured community for her latest novel, Star of the Morning.

Sisters Ruby and Rose are not only second-class citizens by virtue of their race during apartheid South Africa, but the loss of their last surviving parent renders their existence doubly vulnerable.

Shut away in the Sacred Heart convent, they wait for life to begin but when they finally emerge at the age of 18 from the convent, it is to find that, educated only for domestic service, freedom is illusionary.

Jooste writes with her customary warmth and almost intimate empathy, which softens the harsh realities that form the backdrop to her novels. This makes these realities less real but the story more palatable for readers, something her publishers are probably grateful for.

The triumph of the human spirit and the potential within us all for self-determination, even in the worst of circumstances, becomes the focal point of Star of the Morning.

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