Books I read

Book I Read: When Rain Clouds Gather by Bessie Head


Description on Takealot

When Rainclouds Gather: Escaping South Africa and his troubled past, Makehaya crosses the border to Botswana, in the hope of leading a peaceful, purposeful life. In the village of Golema Mmidi he meets Gilbert, a charismatic Englishman who is trying to modernise farming methods to benefit the community. The two outsiders join forces, but their task is fraught with hazards: opposition from the corrupt chief, the pressures of tradition, and the unrelenting climate ever threaten to bring tragedy.

Maru: Margaret, an orphan from a despised tribe, has lived her life under the loving protection of a missionary’s wife. She has only to open her mouth to cause confusion, for her education and English accent do not fit her looks. When she accepts her first teaching post, in a remote village, Margaret is befriended by Dikeledi, sister of Maru the chief-in-waiting. Despite making influential friends, Margaret faces prejudice even from the children she teaches, and her presence causes Maru and his best friend – also Dikeledi’s lover – to become sworn enemies.

What says I

Sadly I am not as familiar as I would like to be with South African as well as African writers. Therefore this book, like Road to Mecca, was such a pleasant surprise. The author, South African born, relays part of her experience about the culture in Botswana through her almost literary fiction writing style. Although a short book, it is everything but a quick read. The writer illustrates and punctuates the very different culture we have on the African continent from the rest of the world. She also successfully creates antagonists in the form of language barriers, economic challenges and plain old commonly accepted bad practices. There is so much to say about this book but I don’t want to spoil it for you. If you want to have a small glimpse of life untouched by western and European influences, then this is a beautiful book. If you are curious about customs and daily life of people that are judged without giving them the time of Day, then this is a book to keep in mind. I loved it. And I’ve read it more than just a few times. There’s always something more to understand and learn.

What says others

Voices of Youth, Kirkus Reviews and Nevis BuNevins Buzz are some of the reviews I found. Jerome reviewed it on Kinna Reads and Diana reviewed it on Africa Book Club. This was a particularly pleasant find since I set out to get to know our very talented rainbow authors! Another local reviewer, Nerine Dorman, reviewed it in 2015.

Where to connect with the author

Unfortunately the author is no more but you can learn more about her from Literary Tourism, Thuto , SAHO and Wikipedia. Goodreads lists her books.
Where to buy this book

This book is locally available from Takealot and worldwide available from Amazon. There are companion notes available from eNotes and a free copy available here. There is also a movie based on this book but I can’t find a credible link for you…

The edition we read:
When Rain Clouds Gather
Illustrated by Demo
First Edition 1994 softcover
ISBN 0 575 05665 7
Published by Victor Gollancz, a Cassell imprint
Printed & bound by Dah Hua Printing Press Company Ltd in Hong Kong
And that is it from me for now

Until next time sweet peeps!

Pssst!!! Disclaimer:

This is a book from my personal library. I was not told what to say, I was not paid to write any reviews or posts and all the opinions expressed are my own. None of the links are affiliated and I receive nothing for it but to share a good book to read.

Please leave a comment. I love hearing your experiences and opinions.

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