Dreams of the Kalahari

Carolyn Slaughter, Author Simon & Schuster $19.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-684-18765-5
There is a beautiful, dream-like quality to this unusual coming-of-age novel. The only child of English parents who arrived in the African Protectorate of Bechuanaland full of illusions about what their new country would offer, Emily Jones grows up in an atmosphere darkened by dashed hopes. Her father's disappointment takes the form of bitterness, directed against his wife and child and the native population. Her mother's is manifested in increasingly severe psychosomatic illnesses. Struggling for her own emotional survival, Emily falls back on imaginary companions and the friendship of the family's African servants. Slaughter (The Innocents is a fine writer, able to depict characters and moods with a few deft words. Emily's story unfolds episodically, in a series of vignettes so vivid, each could stand alone. Africa and its native people, however, are Slaughter's real achievement. Her portrait of that vast, troubled land is haunting. (June 1)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
Hardcover - 394 pages - 978-0-246-11517-1
Hardcover - 978-0-671-65905-9
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