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    Fabulous Reading Wednesday

    Reading Wednesday

    Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

    Location: South Africa

    NOTE –  I’m still on a blog sabbatical and working on some website upgrades.  But as promised, still posting Reading Wednesday. Enjoy and we will be back with more fun blogs very soon.

    Born a Crime by Trevor Noah ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

    I’m here in South Africa.  I am here.  It’s a pretty remarkable place, beautiful and sunny (and VERY WINDY) and friendly and very cosmopolitan.  But, everywhere a visible economic divide.  A big divide that I was struggling to understand.

    We took the “apartheid” tour in Cape Town, to learn some history and get a bit more insight about the apartheid period that defined this country.  It was on that tour that Trevor Noah’s “Born a Crime” was recommended.  Our guide having also grown up in the color-separated country praised the book to help understand more in-depth how South Africa got here and what it was like and is like, living as a person of color in South Africa.

    By all odds, Noah, the smart, funny, good-looking host of the Daily Show in the United States, shouldn’t be leading his successful career.  He was “Born a Crime” in apartheid era South Africa when his parents (black mother and white father) broke apartheid law by having an interracial relationship and eventually a mixed race child.

    During apartheid it was often illegal speak to someone from another race (let alone have sex with them), and the first years of Trevor’s life he was kept out of sight of the racially charged  government and the laws that separated every part of people’s lives.

    Noah was six when apartheid ended, but the end of apartheid did not mean the end to poverty, unemployment, violence.  Noah’s hard-working, no-nonsense and fervently religious mother dedicated her life to him, and eventually his two younger brothers to keep them on track and (for the most part) out of trouble.

    That’s not to say Noah was an angel of a child.  Surviving growing up in the townships and schools of the time Noah writes in detailed hilarious voice about the time he burnt down some white folks house, when he spent the night in jail, when he pooped on the floor of the kitchen rather than go out in the rain to the outhouse, and numerous other boy and teen antics.  All of which could have led him down the wrong path, but luckily for him, it built his character, his humor and eventually a career he now excels at.

    “Born a Crime” is an eye-opening, educating and funny read that everyone should take the time for, whether or not you plan to visit South Africa.  A little understanding of this country’s past and present, might have you recognizing familiar-sounding struggles of people and intolerance of color around the world, including in the USA.

    Five Stars for Born a Crime.

    Fabulous Reading Wednesday

    Reading Wednesday

    The Language of Flowers

    The Language of Flowers – A Novel by Vanessa Diffenbaugh ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

    After a dry spell of good “page turners” I finally hit on some books that have pulled back into reading every day.  It helped a lot that I was sans internet for much of the time I was in Namibia.  When I can’t sit and stare at Facebook and Instagram then my Kindle gets a lot more use!  It’s a good thing.

    The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh was a great read.  I loved the story line, and as a gardener and lover of plants I really like the unique use of flowers in the story.

    Diffenbaugh takes you on a journey of the life of a girl, eventually a women, and her personal trials and tragedies as an un-adoptable foster child.  Victoria Jones finds herself unable to love or care for anyone, or allow anyone to love or care for her.  Her mistrust and loathing for every human she meets drives her to only love one thing – the language of flowers.

    At 18 years old Victoria is no longer a ward of the state and she finds her self living in a forest next to a park and surrounding herself with flowers, the only thing she feels emotionally attached to.  She finds a job in a flower shop and the florist recognizes her potential and helps her get on her feet.  Working in the flower shop Victoria realizes her natural talent for using the Victorian language of flowers to communicate messages for brides and other customers and soon she is an indispensable part of the shop.

    But Victoria’s pattern of running away from people who care for her continues and she finds herself leaving behind again, everything and everyone who shows they love and need her.

    The Language of Flowers is both a sentimental and emotional story of love lost and found, life’s up and downs, and the human spirit’s ability to open up and let go of fear and imagine a new life for themselves.  Five stars.