In this heartrending and inspiring novel set against the gorgeous, vast landscape of South Africa under apartheid, award-winning playwright Pamela Gien tells the story of two families–one black, one white–separated by racism, connected by love.
Even at the age of six, lively, inquisitive Elizabeth Grace senses she’s a child of privilege, “a lucky fish.” Soothing her worries by raiding the sugar box, she scampers up into the sheltering arms of the lilac-blooming syringa tree growing behind the family’ s suburban Johannesburg home.
Lizzie’s closest ally and greatest love is her Xhosa nanny, Salamina. Deeper and more elemental than any traditional friendship, their fierce devotion to each other is charged and complicated by Lizzie’s mother, who suffers from creeping melancholy, by the stresses of her father’s medical practice, which is segregated by law, and by the violence, injustice, and intoxicating beauty of their country.
In the social and racial upheavals of the 1960s, Lizzie’s eyes open to the terror and inhumanity that paralyze all the nation’s cultures–Xhosa, Zulu, Jew, English, Boer. Pass laws requiring blacks to carry permission papers for white areas and stringent curfews have briefly created an orderly state–but an anxious one. Yet Lizzie’s home harbors its own set of rules, with hushed midnight gatherings, clandestine transactions, and the girl’s special task of protecting Salamina’s newborn child–a secret that, because of the new rules, must never be mentioned outside the walls of the house.
As the months pass, the contagious spirit of change sends those once underground into the streets to challenge the ruling authority. And when this unrest reaches a social and personal climax, the unthinkable will happen and forever change Lizzie’s view of the world.
When The Syringa Tree opened off-Broadway in 2001, theater critics and audiences alike embraced the play, and it won many awards. Pamela Gien has superbly deepened the story in this new novel, giving a personal voice to the horrors and hopes of her homeland. Written with lyricism, passion, and life-affirming redemption, this compelling story shows the healing of the heart of a young woman and the soul of a sundered nation.
Share your thoughts on the The Syringa Tree General Fiction eBook with others!
|Title of eBook: The Syringa Tree|
|Release Date: 12-18-2007|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
This eBook download is available in the following formats:
|Parent title||The Syringa Tree|
|Devices||Samsung Tablet, Apple Ipad & Iphone, Barnes & Noble Nook, Kobo eReader, Aluratek Libre, Iliad, Nokia, Blackberry, Hanlin|
|Note||ePub, short for electronic publication is one of our favorites and should be yours for a couple of reasons. ePub offers reflowable text giving you flexibility to manipulate how the content is presented. Moreover, lots of cool features are now being developed for the reader like advanced video and audio. ePub is now an industry standard, so all of the "non-propreitary" hardware manufacturers are now supporting it.|
The Syringa Tree
SOEKMEKAAR, LOOKING FOR ONE ANOTHER
e Newly six, I lay in the dark listening to the rattle of my shutters. The moon was gone from them.
Something moved in the passage outside my door. My heart banged up into my throat. I strained to listen, tried to be still. I must have called out. I felt warm fingers close my eyes. My father’s hands smelled of long hours and antiseptic soap. “It’s nearly midnight, Lizzy,” he said, in the hope I would finally submit to sleep in my Johannesburg bed. In the dim light, I saw he was still in his creased shirtsleeves rolled up from the day, but without his polished brown shoes. Usually at night, he left them by the front door. He must have had to go out again after we fell asleep, on another call, someone sick on a farm at Fourways, maybe, or further out at Honeydew, a child bitten by a snake, someone trying to be born, someone stabbed. Newly qualified as a doctor, he was not yet thirty, with dark rims beneath his eyes.
“Is Mommy still in her bed?” I whispered.
“She’s in her bed.”
He closed my eyes again and turned to go. Still no moon.
“Tell of the wild dogs,” I said.
He sat down around the middle of the bed where my feet ended under the blanket, and rested his head on his hands. He began rubbing his fingers against his scalp through his short-cut dark brown hair, slowly, like medicine for his head. “He loved the wild dogs,” he began. “His black eyes, like newly lit coals, glowed within the small, flat plane of his features. He had never seen the face