Corlie Roux’s farm life in South Africa is not easy: the Transvaal is beautiful, but it is also a harsh place where the heat can be so intense that the very raindrops sizzle. When her beloved father dies, she is left with a mother who is as devoted to her sons as she is cruel to her daughter. Despite this, Corlie finds solace in her friend, Sipho, and in Africa itself and in the stories she conjures for her brothers.
But Corlie’s world is about to vanish: the British are invading and driving Boer families like hers from their farms. Some escape into the bush to fight the enemy. The unlucky ones are rounded up and sent to internment camps.
Will Corlie’s resilience and devotion to her country sustain her through the suffering and squalor she finds in the camp at Kroonstad? That may depend on a soldier from faraway Canada and on inner resources Corlie never dreamed she had….
From Tundra Books website.
I don’t read a lot of historical fiction and I NEVER read historical fiction about war. I took an early dislike to history around grade 8 and I never looked back. But when I read books like Trilby Kent’s Stones for my Father, I really, really wish that historical fiction had been used as an effort to get me interested in history when I was younger. Reading about character’s such as Corlie and what she went through makes me want to learn more about the past.
I was surprised by how quickly I became engrossed in Corlie’s story. It was obvious from the get-go that there was more going on than the Boer War. Her mother doesn’t treat her nice AT ALL, doting on her little brothers and treating Corlie more like an annoyance than a daughter. Yet there were times that I felt sorry for her mother. Kent did an excellent job of making the mom a stern, unlikable character that the reader could still identify with at times.
Before reading Stones for my Father, I never realized that there were interment camps besides the ones during WWII (like I said, I know very LITTLE about history). I was shocked by the way they were treated, but I was also amazed that in these camps the occupants did their best to create a life.
This is great YA historical fiction. Oh, and there’s a monkey. And who doesn’t love a monkey? :)
I have one copy of Stones for my Father to give to a lucky fellow Canadian. Just comment below. Say hello. Tell me about your current read. Or let me know why you want to read this book. I’ll randomly choose a winner on the 5th of May.