Cape Town by Brenda HammondCape Town by Brenda Hammond

Cape Town

byBrenda Hammond

Paperback | April 1, 2012

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In 1989, South Africa is on the brink of dramatic change. Oblivious and unaffected, Renee Pretorius, daughter of strict Afrikaans parents, leaves her beloved Karoo farm in order to pursue her dream to study ballet at the University of Cape Town.Plunged into the turmoil of life in a city gripped by the struggle for freedom, Renee begins to understand the horrific impact of the apartheid system, and the racial prejudices she never questioned while growing up. When Renee falls in love with a student activist, she's forced to make the most heart-wrenching choice of her life.
Brenda Hammond left her birthplace in South Africa to study dance at the Royal Ballet School in London. She currently lives in Ottawa.
Title:Cape TownFormat:PaperbackDimensions:328 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.75 inPublished:April 1, 2012Publisher:Great Plains PublicationsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1926531183

ISBN - 13:9781926531182

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Lively Story of Coming of Age and Apartheid I truly enjoyed the vivid descriptions of Capetown and its surroundings. It gives a sense of being there with the characters. This story gives a glimpse of apartheid with some trepidations but without undue harshness. Hammond's main character, the young ballerina Renee, reflects well the openness for change and the raise of consciousness that must have grown among the people supporting the anti-apartheid movement. The author does a great job at building the tension as events are enfolding with the mounting of social tensions that led to Mandela's release. In the last few chapters, I could not put it down. What a great read!
Date published: 2012-06-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from beautifully written first novel A beautifully written novel about a teen from a conservative Afrikaans family in pre-Mandela South Africa. Renee convinces her parents into letting her leave their isolated rural community in order to study ballet in the big city — Cape Town. When she arrives as a student at the University of Cape Town, Renee is initially confident in the Afrikaans’ God-given right to govern, and that giving votes to Blacks would be a disaster. Her existence up to this point has been so isolated that she’s never shared an activity with Black or Coloured (ie mixed race) individuals, unless they were servants. On campus, the first person who befriends her is Dion, a Coloured dancer who is openly gay, and she quickly falls in love with Andy, who is not only English (considered the devil by her Afrikaans father) but is a human rights activist. Add to the mix Renee’s brother Etienne, who is an undercover agent for the Afrikaans controlled police-state. Hammond does a great job in showing the incremental change in Renee’s attitude to the people and politics around her, and as Renee changes, the stakes get higher, with riots and violence all around. In her personal life, she’s playing a double game, keeping her relationship with Andy a secret from her parents and from her guardian aunt. It all comes to a head in a page turning way. Brenda Hammond’s writing is visual and sensual, which is oh so appropriate for a novel about ballet and about an exotic locale. A great read.
Date published: 2012-06-10

Editorial Reviews

". . . a fascinating novel."  - The Winnipeg Free Press "Brenda Hammond's writing is visual and sensual, which is oh so appropriate for a novel about ballet and about an exotic locale." - Marsha Skrypuch ". . . an excellent young adult coming-of-age novel." - Ann Ketcheson, CM Magazine ". . . Cape Town persuasively takes a monumental issue and packages it in a story of undeniable passion." - CanLit for Little Canadians "a poignant, coming of age novel about a young girl in a troubled time." - LibrisNotes