GEM SQUASH TOKOLOSHE

It took some time for me to take this book from my shelf, and when I started reading this debut I kept on reading. Rachel Zadok has done a good job with this novel.

The story centers around a young girl named Faith, she lives on a farm with her father Marius and her mother Bella. Mother Bella has a perception of spirits (tokoloshe) that dwell around the farm, she even has tried to paint them. These painting occupy walls at the farm. The family slowly but surely desintegrates and father Marius decides to leave his wife and child. When Bella is left to fight her fight on her own it becomes clear she is not able to look after herself and her child. Wellwishers (including Oom Piet) make sure a lady called Nomsa takes over the work at the farm and the care of Faith. A special relationship develops between the two.  An outsider is able to do the work that the insiders are not able to do. Nomsa is a powerful woman who has to find her way in a house filled with antagonizing forces. But she shows herself able for the job. This first part of the book ends with the violent death of Nomsa. This part of the novel started in the year 1985.

In the second part we move to the year 1999 and Johannesburg. Faith had to leave the farm after the death of Nomsa and the move of her mother Bella to a psychiatric hospital where she is treated. Faith now stays with a old friend to her mother, named Mia, and the daughter of Mia. Now the story develops with speed. Faith receives the news that her mother has passed away. She gets the ownership of the farm, where managers have taken care (in their own way) of the farm. Faith takes the decision to return to the farm to have a look at her property or will she stay to run her farm? Will she get a fuller picture of her past when she returns to her roots?

Faith tries to get to grip with her life and her surroundings. When she was a young girl at the farm with her desintegrating family and at a later age to settle as a woman in her own right. Zadok follows these traces in the life of faith, the attempts to take the proper course in her life, while being true to her self an d her father and her father, and Nomsa, the lady who was murdered by ..

Thanks Rachel Zadok for your debut. 

Rachel Zadok – Gem Squash Tokoloshe – 2005

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