Thanks for your comments on Black Orchid – we persevered – it was an easy read but I think the consensus was that it was an opportunity missed by Slovo to give us a gritty, more illuminating narrative, when you consider her life experiences, ( thanks to Franz for the biographical background)
What a change from Catch 22!…such easy reading! I liked the subject but do confess to being disappointed in the novel as a whole. The author is so well qualified to write on this theme with her roots and connections with the anti-apartheid movement, but I felt that the mixed marriage issue and subsequent effect on the children was portrayed in some ways unconvincingly. Even in the 50,s, would Evelyn and Emil have been so naive as to expect that “love would conquer all” after being part of such a divisive country as Ceylon! The affair between Evelyn and Charles was inevitable, but , again, the way Emil treats her disappearance by pretending that she,s died is bizarre….even inventing a grave! Realistically, how could he have got away with this, even with his wealthy , powerful position in society. Why would Evelyn wait years before contacting him regarding the children? These points, and others like them, spoiled the story for me.
On a more positive note, I did like the portrayal of Milton, his difficult relationship with his father and his eventual journey home to Ceylon which offered hope for him.
The novel would not make me rush to read anything else by this author.