Märit Laurens is a young woman of British descent who comes to live with her husband, Ben, on their newly purchased farm along the border of South Africa. Shortly after her arrival, violence strikes at the heart of Märit's world. Devastated and confused but determined to run the farm on her own, Märit finds herself in a simmering tug of war between the local Afrikaner community and the black workers who live on the farm, both vying for control over the land in the wake of tragedy. Märit's only supporter is her black housekeeper, Tembi, who, like Märit, is alone in the world. Together, the women struggle to hold on to the farm, but the quietly encroaching civil war brings out conflicting loyalties that turn the fight for the farm into a fight for their lives.
Thrilling to read, A Blade of Grass is a wrenching story of friendship and betrayal and of the trauma of the land that has shaped post-colonial Africa.
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And though Desoto’s prose is rich and frequently poetic – he paints a vivid picture of the sun-scorched African landscape and of life on the farm – he fails to enlighten his readers about the volatile political situation of the country, and often favours a stiff, formal and repetitive style which...Apr 20 2004 | Read Full Review of A Blade of Grass: A Novel
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