CHILD OF THE RIVER

Irma Joubert

A compelling coming of age story with an unlikely and utterly memorable heroine, Child of the River is a timeless tale of heartbreak and triumph set in South Africa at the dawn of apartheid.

Pérsomi is young, white, and poor, born the middle child of illiterate sharecroppers on the prosperous Fourie farm in the South African Bushveld. Pérsomi’s world is extraordinarily small. She has never been to the local village and spends her days absorbed in the rhythms of the natural world around her, escaping the brutality and squalor of her family home through the newspapers and books passed down to her from the main house and through her walks in the nearby mountains.

more …

A compelling coming of age story with an unlikely and utterly memorable heroine, Child of the River is a timeless tale of heartbreak and triumph set in South Africa at the dawn of apartheid.

Pérsomi is young, white, and poor, born the middle child of illiterate sharecroppers on the prosperous Fourie farm in the South African Bushveld. Pérsomi’s world is extraordinarily small. She has never been to the local village and spends her days absorbed in the rhythms of the natural world around her, escaping the brutality and squalor of her family home through the newspapers and books passed down to her from the main house and through her walks in the nearby mountains.

Pérsomi’s close relationship with her older brother Gerbrand and her fragile friendship with Boelie Fourie—heir to the Fourie farm and fortune—are her lifeline and her only connection to the outside world. When Gerbrand leaves the farm to fight on the side of the Anglos in WWII and Boelie joins an underground network of Boer nationalists, Pérsomi’s isolated world is blown wide open. But as her very small world falls apart, bigger dreams become open to her—dreams of an education, a profession, a native country that values justice and equality, and of love. As Pérsomi navigates the changing world around her—the tragedies of war and the devastating racial strife of her homeland—she finally discovers who she truly is, where she belongs, and why her life—and every life—matter.

less …
  • Thomas Nelson
  • Paperback
  • October 2016
  • 416 Pages
  • 0718083105

Buy the Book

$15.99

indies Bookstore indies Bookstore

About Irma Joubert

Irma JoubertInternational bestselling author Irma Joubert was a history teacher for 35 years before she began writing fiction. Her stories are known for their deep insight into personal relationships and rich historical detail. She is the author of eight novels and a regular fixture on bestseller lists in The Netherlands and in her native South Africa. Child of the River was selected for Target’s 2016 Reader’s Circle.

Praise

“Joubert once again demonstrates a knack for stringing believable, interesting characters through a historical South African landscape. Not just a sweet romantic novel, Joubert’s book is a testament to the value of hard work and perseverance.”Publishers Weekly

“This is a thoughtful and provoking novel to be savored.” RT Book Reviews, 4-starred review

“Irma Joubert is known to transport her readers to another world. In Child of the River, she masters her craft, weaving a page-turner that shapes our souls. With each scene, we learn something new, not only about the darker side of humanity, but also about the resilience of the human spirit. Filled with lessons of grace and love, forgiveness and fortitude, Child of the River is a story that reminds us all to hold steady through life’s most fragile hours.” —Julie Cantrell, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Into the Free, When Mountains Move, and The Feathered Bone

Discussion Questions

1. Which character/s in Child of the River did you relate to most and why?

2. How does Pérsomi’s background define her perception of herself, and how does her poor upbringing inform her decisions about how to invest her life?

3. Based on what you learned from this story, how was Apartheid-era South Africa similar to or different from the Jim Crow American South?

4. Pérsomi never experiences the ravages of WWII first hand, but the war has a huge impact on her life, nevertheless. Discuss the way that the war shapes Pérsomi’s destiny and her perceptions of the world around her.

5. Pérsomi rises above her circumstances and pursues an education and uses that education in support of a deeply held political belief that puts her into conflict with those closest to her. What is it about Pérsomi’s character and/or experience that allows her to become the idealist that she is? Why do some people rise above their circumstances while others become a product or a casualty of their circumstances?