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Home Ground Paperback – April 15, 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Story Line Press; First Thus edition (April 15, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1885266715
  • ISBN-13: 978-1885266712
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,300,221 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

For protagonist Ruth Frank, home ground is a small town in South Africa in the 1950s, in the thick of a feuding theatrical family, where her parents play at "Happy Families" with the same fervor and artifice they bring to their professional productions. Freed is at her best when evoking Sarah and Roger Frank's powerful self-delusion and Ruth's painful realization that her parents are "deaf and blind" to their alienation as a family, as Jews in British colonial society and as whites on a turbulent black continent. The author's ear for dialogue is perceptive, as is her depiction of the Franks' pathetic, uneducated, white lower-class neighbors and the desperate squalor and rage of their black servants. Ruth's coming of agefrom eight to 18serves as the framework for the novel, but the narrative is too insubstantial to sustain the 10-year time span. And the underdeveloped motivation for the vicious sibling rivalry between Ruth and her sisters is less than satisfying.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Freed made a big splash with this novel, which was selected by the New York Times as a Notable Book of the Year, andAmore importantlyAwas dubbed a "warm, well-constructed novel" by LJ's reviewer. The plot follows the coming of age of protagonist Ruth Frank, a Jewish girl growing up in South Africa, who must deal with her own budding sexuality as well as the antagonistic relationship between the races.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Pasiphae on October 24, 2010
Format: Paperback
Lynn Freed offers a portrait of growing up in privileged South Africa in Home Ground.

This is a loving and merciless view of a theater family made up of three parts histrionic narcissists, two parts evaders, and one part Lynn. Freed is also merciless concerning her own abuses of power in South Africa as a child, the lines she thoughtlessly steps over to explore and satisfy her drives. No excuses, just the events, leaving the reader to draw her own conclusions about the "why." The lack of justification or complaint is refreshing in a memoir.

Freed creates very real people for her readers, but just as real is her gift for conveying beautiful, exotic settings in all their fullness; the clothes, furnishings, the light, what grows outside a window, the sounds that drift in that same window.

Recommended especially for fans of Freed's novels, who will appreciate the insight into the politics of race, colonialism and gender that fuel her fiction.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By MRonHubbard on November 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I saw Ms. Freed do a reading and I just had to get some of her books. Home Ground showcases her warm, witty voice. This is an engrossing story of girlhood and coming-of-age with a heroine who's a bit of a holy terror. A very good read.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By EBS on September 6, 2005
Format: Paperback
An interesting glimpse into the lives of a Jewish family in Capetown, South Africa during apartheid. The family relationships were beautifully portrayed.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Coming of age story by this award-winning South African writer presents an intriguing family in an ambiguously fascinating country and a protagonist I want to know better as she grows into adulthood (thanks for Bungalow!)
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By hm101 on May 19, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I thought this book was extremely shallow. The subject matter was there, but the author didn't do enough with it.
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More About the Author

LYNN FREED was awarded the inaugural Katherine Anne Porter Award for fiction by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She is the author of six novels, a short story collection, and a collection of essays.

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