Blade Of Grass

Paperback | February 25, 2015

byLewis Desoto

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Set on the border between South Africa and an unnamed country, A Blade of Grass is the taut story of two women, one white and one black, who struggle to save their farm and, ultimately, their lives. Märit, a young woman of British descent, recently orphaned and newly wed, comes to live with her husband, Ben, on their new farm. Despite its Edenic setting, the land explodes in violence and tragedy, and Märit finds herself caught in a tug of war between the local Afrikaner community and the black workers who live on her farm. Frightened, she turns to the only person who can help her, a young woman who is now also alone in the world—her maid, Tembi.

As the novel builds to its devastating climax, it unfolds a tale both terrifying and hopeful, moving beyond its own time and place to become a universal story of the price of freedom.

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From Our Editors

Thrilling to read, A Blade of Grass is a wrenching story of friendship and betrayal and of the trauma of the land that has shaped post-colonial Africa.

From the Publisher

Set on the border between South Africa and an unnamed country, A Blade of Grass is the taut story of two women, one white and one black, who struggle to save their farm and, ultimately, their lives. Märit, a young woman of British descent, recently orphaned and newly wed, comes to live with her husband, Ben, on their new farm. Despite ...

Lewis DeSoto was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa. After moving to Canada, he attended the University of British Columbia, where he received a master of fine arts. His writing has been published in numerous literary journals, and he was awarded the Books in Canada/Writers' Trust Short Prose Award. A past editor of The Literary Review...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:416 pages, 8.1 × 5.3 × 0.97 inPublished:February 25, 2015Publisher:HarperCollins Publishers LtdLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0006392806

ISBN - 13:9780006392804

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Customer Reviews of Blade Of Grass

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Blade of Grass ...I found an expression of beauty and destruction, bounty and desperation; of shackles and freedom; black and white.
Date published: 2013-06-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fascinating Marit is a young British wife to Ben when they move to Africa, purchase land, and try their hand at farming. Marit keeps to herself but enjoys the luxuries of going in to town and drinking at the local hotel. This is not a peaceful life. There's a war raging on the borders of their land and Ben one day drives over a bomb, killing himself. Marit is left to fend for herself in this foreign land, with strong barriers between whites and blacks. Marit befriends her maid, Tembi, bringing her in to the house to stay and treating her as an equal. What starts is an unlikely friendship. Tembi and Marit have many troubles to contend with, including some distrust in each other, and their friendship is pushed to the limits. The story feels so real because it's not always happy and in fact becomes quite depressing at the end. The beginning was a bit slow but about half way through it I was having troubles putting the book down because I wanted to know what was going to happen. It's interesting to read a book about Africa and the tensions there as I haven't read many books on this subject. I enjoyed it!
Date published: 2012-05-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Wonderful A young newlywed couple, Ben and Margit come to live on their farm in South Africa in the 1970s. Their farm borders a neighbouring country in turmoil. They are full of hopes and dreams as are most young couples. Tembi is a young black worker in the farm, full of rebellion and also with her own dreams. When violence erupts and Margit is widowed she is forced to look for help. The local Afrikaner community is not very welcoming and is leaving the countryside in fear. The black workers on the farm have no desire to obey a white mistress. Margrit refuses to leave and turns to Tembi for assistance. This is a novel that questions all our values. Who does the land belong to? The purchasers, the workers, the natives or the animals? The countryside is described in breath-taking beauty. The only nit I have is that I wish a few situations were better described. Still, a wonderful novel that makes the reader think.
Date published: 2011-08-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved it This book far exceeded my expectations. Lews DeSoto's first book is a HIT and I hope we see more titles by this wonderful story teller. A story full of tragic events, but at the heart of it, two women, unlikely friends, form a sisterhood and friendship. I could hardly put this book down. I must read!
Date published: 2008-02-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Story of Friendship This book is a story of friendship against odds. I really enjoyed the book, and the ending really made me think...I finished it a few days ago and am still thinking about it. The writing style is unique, I can really feel the differences in the characters based on the author's writing when describing that character and their thoughts. I immediately was grasped into this world and loved it there. The characters do not 'run together' as in some other books, and the reader gets an immediate grasp of their souls. Overall a great read!
Date published: 2007-12-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Really Liked It I thought the book was really well written and I found it interesting that it was written by a man in the perspective of two women. My mom grew up in South Africa in the same time that Lewis DeSoto did so it was interesting to read about the struggles experienced by everyone in that country.
Date published: 2006-08-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Friendship against all odds Lewis De Soto's A Blade of Grass is a fascinating read from start to finish. His prose aptly captures the lyrical nature of African language and storytelling and draws the reader into the lush African landscapes that he is bringing to life. The unlikely yet tumultuous friendship that evolves between Marit the Missus, and Tembi the servant is at times touching and incredibly frustrating, reflecting most human relationships regardless of skin colour or status in life. A Blade of Grass is definitely worth a read, a perfect book to curl up with if you're looking to escape to a far away time and place.
Date published: 2006-07-31
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Disappointed This book started out great, but towards the middle this book seemed to run out of steam and become predictable. I can see why it was nominated for an award but didn't win.
Date published: 2006-07-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful!! A Blade of Grass which takes place in South Africa is a wonderful book! Marit Laurens is a young newly wed woman. When disaster strikes, she is all alone and is caught between the white community and the black workers on her farm. She eventually becomes friends with Tembi her maid and treats her as an equal. She begins to adopt the same customs and clothing that Tembi wears. Marit is then ridiculed by her white friends and then is shut off from the outside world. Together in the middle of a raging war, Tembi and Marit suffer many hardships and are ultimately left fighting for their lives. This book was wonderful and I couldn't put it down. I would recommend this book to anyone.
Date published: 2005-01-25

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From Our Editors

Thrilling to read, A Blade of Grass is a wrenching story of friendship and betrayal and of the trauma of the land that has shaped post-colonial Africa.