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Under The African Sun Paperback – November 24, 2016
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About the Author
Gail Gilbride Bohle is a semi-retired English and Communications Skills lecturer and lives in Hout Bay, a suburb of Cape Town, South Africa. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rhodes University and a Post-Graduate teaching diploma from UCT. Gail stays current with South African politics, mentoring teenagers, attending Cape Town City Ballet, enjoying music evenings at the Barleycorn club, as well as the Kirstenbosch summer concerts and swimming in the sea no matter what the temperature. She is married to Hanns and they have a daughter, Kirsten. In 1976, Gail was completing her Politics Major at Rhodes University. The Soweto Riots of June 1976 was one of the many traumatic events which inspired her to write UNDER THE AFRICAN SUN.
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Deborah is young, smart, beautiful and very much in love. She relishes all that Cape Town has to offer, convivial evenings at the Pig pub with her friends with Bye Bye Miss American Pie on the radio, swimming at Clovelly, hiking up Constantia Nek, canoeing on the Berg River, the homely cottage in Rondebosch she shares with her friend Julia. Gilbride writes with authenticity and a semi-autobiographical twang, vividly capturing the settings and experiences, from the clack, clack of the train from the Transvaal, to the fierce Highveld storms and purple jacaranda streets of Pretoria, to bluebottles on the beach, the smell of curry cooking and the moon above Lion’s Head. All innocent Deborah wants to do is skate along the surface, live and love, but her job as an intern on a Cape Town newspaper exposes her to a grittier side of life, especially when she shadows Charlie, the political reporter. Gradually too, she learns that her beloved, idealised Chris is involved in the political underground. Along with the usual romantic insecurities … he loves me, he loves me not … Deborah has to contend with fear, both for herself and for Chris, especially when she realises her telephone is bugged and she is taken in for questioning by the security police. Such were the times. Gilbride does an effective job of characterising Deborah through the painful process of growing up. Supporting characters, though, particularly the saintly Julia, remain in monochrome. Handsome and controlling Chris also only becomes three dimensional in the final chapters which take an unexpected twist, breaking the mould of what started as a rather cloying girly romance. For those who remember how it was, this breathless novel is both entertaining and chilling, bringing back not only those heady times of love and friendship, when the future was open-ended and enticing, but also the confusion, fear, guilt and anger that churned underneath.
A great read!!!!