All Things Bright and Broken

Meet Colleen, the third-born child of parents who share a chaotic relationship. Set against the backdrop of Cape Town in the 1940s – a time of innocence, social graces, the Queen’s visit and sports heroes – this is Colleen’s journey, seen through her eyes and told in her voice. It is a time of religious fervour, baptisms, conversions and Sunday school picnics. Apartheid can’t be escaped and is experienced by the children, who are bemused and confused by the flawed and unjust system.
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Description

Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes meets Chris van Wyk’s Shirley, Goodness & Mercy in this debut autobiographical novel. 

Meet Colleen, the third-born child of parents who share a chaotic relationship. Set against the backdrop of Cape Town in the 1940s – a time of innocence, social graces, the Queen’s visit and sports heroes – this is Colleen’s journey, seen through her eyes and told in her voice. It is a time of religious fervour, baptisms, conversions and Sunday school picnics. Apartheid can’t be escaped and is experienced by the children, who are bemused and confused by the flawed and unjust system. 

The pages are crowded by a host of odd characters, at once lovable, eccentric and troubled. There’s Aunty Bubbles who teaches the children to jitterbug and Uncle Nicholas who speaks the Queen’s English and plays a trumpet in the Royal Navy Band. There’s Aunty Beryl, who carries a Chihuahua around in her handbag, and a midwife and home-undertaker named Two-Coffee-One-Milk.   

But not all is rosy in this richly peopled world, and our hearts tear a little as we see the abuse unfold and inflict its damage on this little girl. There is a human thread recognisable to anyone who has ever been in a co-dependent relationship, been abused, grown up poor or had an alcoholic father, which gives this book universal appeal. The text is rich in imagery and vivid detail.  Sharp, insightful, and abundant in measured humour, it will resonate with many.  




PRAISE FOR THE BOOK 
“Like a rediscovered box of haberdashery remnants – ribbon shreds and lace. Frayed cotton, stretched elastic – the nostalgia here evokes a conflicting assortment of emotions. Tender, touching and troubling all at the same time. A poignant reminder of the impact of parenting on a person’s psyche – for better and for worse.” – Nancy Richards 

“This story of a dysfunctional family, a debut novel told in the first person by a deeply perceptive and compassionate writer new to the South African market, is raw, unintentionally funny and extremely moving. It is a totally satisfying read and a fine achievement.” – Pamela Jooste, author of Dance with a Poor Man’s Daughter

“Lionel Trilling said: ‘Of this time, of that place, of some parentage, what does it matter?’ It matters. This book could only have come from a specific time, place and parentage and it is one not much written of. Carol brings everything in her phenomenal memory back with crystal clarity.” – Lesley Beake, author of Song of Be


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Carol Gibbs lives in a nineteenth-century barn in the village of Greyton in the Western Cape.  Her passions include travel, storytelling, history, art and all things old. She has been involved in the world of art and antiques for more than forty years. Her paintings and three dimensional art are inspired by childhood memories, social concerns and historical events. She has two children and four grandchildren

 

ISBN 978-1-4314-2640-9
GENRE Autobiographical Novel 
FORMAT Trade Paperback 
SIZE 235x155mm 
EXTENT 240pp
PRICE R240 
RIGHTS World Rights 
RELEASE June 2018