Friday, 13 January 2012

Story of an African farm (Schreiner)

After two very plot driven VMCs, I struggled a little bit with A story of an African farm. It was recommended to me many years ago by a very dear friend but I had never got around to reading it before now. Although it follows the narrative of two women growing up, it is much more essay and description than actual story.

A story of an African farm follows Lyndall and Em, who live on a sheep farm in the Boer in South Africa. Published at the end of the nineteenth century, the book illustrates that the options available to women in South Africa were as limited as those in England (as illustrated in the last two VMCs that I read, Red Pottage and The odd women). The book describes Em’s willingness to accept her limited options and Lyndall’s refusal, leading her to leave home to attend boarding school and find a relationship, although having witnessed unsuccessful marriages she refuses to consider this for herself.

You can read a more extensive review of the book here .

Although it's been published many times, it's just been published once by Virago Modern Classics with the original green cover.

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