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Book review: An Imperfect Blessing by Nadia Davids

Book review: An Imperfect Blessing by Nadia Davids

An Imperfect Blessing by Nadia Davids (Umuzi)
By: Women24 

Nadia Davids has made a name for herself as a playwright (At Her Feet, Cissie) of great intelligence and sensitivity, with a real understanding and affection for South Africa and its people. 

It is these qualities, and a deftness of characterisation, that she brings to her debut novel, An Imperfect Blessing.

Against a setting of the turbulent late 80s and early 90s era as apartheid thrashed in its death throes, Davids chooses to focus her story on a young teenager, Alia Dawood, who is torn between the ordinary concerns about outfits and boys on one hand – and on the other the strong imperative to care about social issues and take a political stand. 

Davids creates a loving and convincing picture of the community living in Walmer Estate at that time, with many of the older generation starkly aware of the personal loss sometimes required in the pursuit of political equality. 

For the teen protagonist though, life in a rapidly changing society seems complicated and at times unfair. 

This is a memorable debut from a literary but still warm and accessible writer, whose words gleam with meticulous craft and polishing. 


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