I received a review copy.
Celia Mphephu knows her place in the world. A black servant working in the white suburbs of 1960s Johannesburg, she’s all too aware of her limitations. Nonetheless, she has found herself a comfortable corner: She has a job, can support her faraway family, and is raising her youngest child, Miriam.
But as racial tensions explode, Celia’s world shifts. Her employers decide to flee the political turmoil and move to England—and they ask to adopt Miriam and take her with them. Devastated at the prospect of losing her only daughter, yet unable to deny her child a safer and more promising future, Celia agrees, forever defining both their futures.
As Celia fights against the shattering violence of her time, Miriam battles the quiet racism of England, struggling to find her place in a land to which she doesn’t belong—until the call of her heritage inexorably draws her back to Africa to discover the truth behind her mother’s choices and uncover a heartbreaking secret from long ago…
Fiona Sussman introduces us to a time in Johannesburg, Africa where things were becoming rather unsafe. It was during the time of Apartheid in Africa. Everything was in serious unrest.
In 1959 Celia is working for the Steiner’s and is raising her youngest child, Miriam there. Mr. and Mrs. Steiner no longer feel that they are safe, so they want to leave to move to England.
They ask Celia if they could adopt Miriam and take her to England with them.
Celia decides that this is the best choice to keep her daughter safe. Only with a huge heart could this decision be made.
Will this be the decision that unravels both Mother and Daughter in the end?
Will the Steiner’s treat Miriam properly?
This story is written in two voices, Celia’s and Miriam’s. You will find it hard not to become emotionally attached to each of these characters. How can you not fall in love with a mother that gives up her child to keep her safe? It is huge sacrifice.
This story is about the real love that grows between mother and child, no matter what happens. It is beautiful.
This journey is remarkably told.