Review: HUM IF YOU DON'T KNOW THE WORDS by Bianca Marais

Hum If You Don't Know the Words by Bianca Marais
G.P. Putnam’s Sons | ISBN: 9780735218260 | July 11, 2017 | 420 pages 

I am trying to expand my reading into new genres, locations, and voices. When I received an ARC of Hum If You Don't Know the Words, I thought "whoa". This is exactly what I didn't know I was looking for. Told from the point of view of 10-year-old, white, Robin Conrad and Xhosa widow and mother, Beauty Mbali, I alternately wanted to throttle and hug little Robin, while my heart ached for Beauty. After Robin's parents are killed she is sent to live with her aunt (who's loveably conflicted herself), and Beauty is hired to care for Robin while she searches for her daughter. Set in apartheid-era 1970s South Africa, I will admit I knew close to nothing about the politics or geography of this story (Soweto Uprising, Bantu, Transkei) but  Hum If You Don't Know the Words had me thinking of The Poisonwood Bible and To Kill a Mockingbird. This is one of the best books I've read in a while, making me glad I've expanded my reading selections. 

Have you read anything lately that was outside your comfort zone? 

***Disclaimer:: I was given a copy of this release in exchange for an honest review. I received no additional compensation. ***

1 comment

Judy Krueger said...

This book sounds great. I am adding it to my TBR. Thanks.