The World Unseen
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In 1950's South Africa, free-spirited Amina has broken all the rules of her own conventional Indian community, and the new apartheid-led government, by running a café with Jacob her 'coloured' business partner. When she meets Miriam, a young wife and mother, their unexpected attraction pushes Miriam to question the rules that bind her and a chain of events is set in motion that changes both women forever. The World Unseen transports us to a vibrant, colourful world, a world that divides white from black and women from men, but one that might just allow an unexpected love to survive.
required before a leave-taking. “My dear - your cake…” commented George to Miriam. “Out of this world, as always.” “It was very nice, thank you,” added David, placing his hat upon his head. She smiled, by way of accepting the compliment, and waited as the couples made their way to the door, chatting idly, winding down the visit, reluctant to leave and to be in the heat of the car. She felt her stomach turn once more, and pursed her lips against the feeling. So slow the Kaplans were to
back to the kitchen, emerging at last with Miriam, insisting that she come with them. She wanted, she said, to get to know her sister-in-law a little better. Omar was relieved that Farah had not managed to include herself in this outing. He smiled for the first time that afternoon, and conscious of James’ quiet presence, held open the door for the two women. As they left, Rehmat turned and glanced back, blinking, and for a moment she saw that room as it had been on the day she had left, nearly
looked hard at him from over the top of her menu. “Are you saying she’s part black?” she asked, under her breath. Omar shrugged. “So they say. From her mother’s side.” He leaned forward in his seat and looked up at the wall above the front door. His sister and Miriam twisted to follow his look, and they saw a faded picture, carefully mounted and framed, of a young woman dressed in a shalwaar kameez. The setting of the photograph suggested that she was in India, and beside her stood a
“There are people waiting,” he told her. “We should be helping.” “Doris and Mary will handle it,” she told him, watching the waitresses as they moved from table to table. Amina carried a cup of coffee to the booth and placed it in front of Jacob, then sat down. “I wonder what’s in this?” she asked, placing the parcel down between them. She wanted to give him time to settle, to gather himself, so she cut through the thin string with the knife and quickly pulled away the paper wrapping.
South African roots. This one shows that her cultural compass can stretch even wider without dulling the delicacy of her gaze… Highly readable.” – The Independent “Sarif’s thrilling new novel makes me think of the The English Patient and The French Lieutenant’s Woman. Like those books, it has at its core an unforgettable love story. Yet Sarif also understands the human cost exacted by totalitarian systems. And she knows that the worst betrayals are those committed by the ones we love. Her novel