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Even though the pain is evident in the book, it also "By all accounts my birth was not a special event. Even though the pain is evident in the book, it also makes you smile and nod knowingly. I am so proud to call Diane Brown a fellow South African and cannot wait to see what else this author has up her sleeve.

I was not solicited by the author in any way, shape, or form. This is a true and independent review. Oct 31, Livhuwani Matsila rated it it was amazing. Very few books cut right deep into one's emotions like this book does. I often had to put it down to compose myself. Diane bravely ventures into her past, exploring some very personal issues from her childhood and young adulthood, and how she met her soulmate.

In the book, Diane reveals the raw nature of the South African family structure, a feature many will relate to. The story is so beautifully told, it can be easily turned into a movie, showing the resilience and strength Very few books cut right deep into one's emotions like this book does. The story is so beautifully told, it can be easily turned into a movie, showing the resilience and strength of one of many strong women we have in South Africa I wish every man and woman would read this touching life story.

A personal review I wrote about the book on my blog Sep 08, Mary rated it really liked it.

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Oct 23, Carlene rated it it was amazing. This book moved me through so many emotions!!! Form pure utter shock, to tears streaming down my face to boughts of uncontrollable laughter. Following the plight of a South African women living through the effects and after effects of Apartheid.


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I have read many books on the topic of apartheid but have never come across a book that personalizes the direct impact of the violence within the four walls of your home and your mind and at the same time the duality of humankind to be both kind and ext This book moved me through so many emotions!!! I have read many books on the topic of apartheid but have never come across a book that personalizes the direct impact of the violence within the four walls of your home and your mind and at the same time the duality of humankind to be both kind and extremely cruel.

This auto-biography is must a read. Having read it twice, I think it will be one of those that I will read many more times. It will take time for me to digest the contents of the book as it covers some really heart wrenching and VERY real topics of violence that many are afraid to talk about. I commend Diane Brown on the bravery it must have taken to write such a book, being, such a personal account of her life from to childhood to her early adult years. The book covers topics such as: I'm looking forward to reading more of Diane's material. The standard of South African Literature is rising everyday.

Dec 04, Thandiwe Nxumalo rated it it was amazing. The Sabi is a much needed book in South Africa. The author has a conversation with the reader and takes him or her on a journey with her into her mind, into her circumstances and into the history of South Africa. More than anything sit back, read the book and enjoy it! Nov 01, ConnorD rated it it was amazing Shelves: This is a gripping book, it is the second time I am reading it.. It was a page turner. Sometimes I had to put the book down, even though it was the second time I read it within a space of a month.

This book is so real and honest and seems to be written directly from the heart. I wish this book, or books like it could be in every single schools in South Africa because it is so real and told from a perspective of reality but also not one of judgement. I highly recommend this book to young and old This is a gripping book, it is the second time I am reading it.. I highly recommend this book to young and old and to all races.

It is a book that hangs on in your soul long after you have read the last page, and that's why I had to go back to it and read it again. The Sabi is brutal at times, but it is also so very hopeful.

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The ending is not what you would like, but that is life - there are no fairy tales but yet you still feel urged to live life and be hopeful We need more books like this and I hope to read more and more from this author and that she does not loose her gift of being able to tell a story simply, in a context of history, politics and society. This for me is the brilliance of the book. It is real yet you learn so much.. You feel like you part of the story and soon this story becomes yours too.

I don't think anyone will be able to read this book and be the same - it just has that effect I think this book should be made into a movie, it just has that quality Oct 25, Lisa rated it it was amazing Shelves: When looking at history, I always wonder what happens to the ordinary people, the ones like you and me. Those who are important because they both live in the world and give the world life; yet their lives are not public knowledge.

The people for whom history is the backdrop of their lives, who are affected and changed by history but do this with relative anonymity. Dianne gives an autobiographical account of her life as an ordinary South African under Apartheid. Although race and culture are obvi When looking at history, I always wonder what happens to the ordinary people, the ones like you and me.

Although race and culture are obvious themes, there is so much more to this book than that. It's about searching for and finding yourself and your place in this world; and the importance of the people who make this journey with you. It's a beautiful look at the life of someone who appears ordinary to the rest of the world, but who is extraordinary to those who love her.

Thank you Diane for sharing your story with us. Nov 19, Naomi rated it really liked it Shelves: An intimate story, told as though spending many afternoons lingering over coffee in the living room of a friend recounting her life, Brown's tale reflects on violence and oppression, racism and sexism, and the challenges we face to live as whole people and create a society of peace, love, and justice. Dec 16, Zoli rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Alright I cannot wait a few days. I need to put down my thoughts about this book - I am restless and need to read it again. South Africa is wounded and this book shows the source of the wounds, the wound and the scabs that form to try to heal the wound.

It also shows the plasters that we apply to cover up that wound. There are things that we all know and experience - the abuse, the inappropriate touches from men, the racism, the treatment if you dark skin - even from your own or other "black" gro Alright I cannot wait a few days. There are things that we all know and experience - the abuse, the inappropriate touches from men, the racism, the treatment if you dark skin - even from your own or other "black" groups, the racism in the stores, on the roads and in the workplace.

This book talks about these things that we are too scared to speak of or too much in denial about.

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The treatment within mixed race and Indian communities in South Africa is said as it should be. What stood out for me is how women are the ones who suffer most at the hands of a system as big as apartheid, or racism or patriarchy. Also how these systems are oppressive to women and black people. Mostly it shows the psychological wounds that these systems create. The author goes back to a time when our ancestors were raped on mass by British troops, when they were dumped in unmarked graves. When I read that part I was quite taken aback by those incidents being put right up front in the book, and as I continued to read I got to understand the brilliantly written foreword better - we are products of a system of hundreds of years.

She asks how can an Oscar Pistorius kill a Reeva? This is the duality she reflects on much in this book - duality that is as "evident and as stark as the inequality among its citizens" She then takes you on a journey through her life and this part cannot adequately be explained you have to be part of this conversation - you need to read every line to experience it. In a way this book on reflection is indeed conversation with the reader.

There are moments that made my skin tense up..

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For I realised that going back to this conversation was going back to me, to South Africa, to the world where groups of people are treated very badly - the the very big wound. The book then begins to show a path of rediscovery and some healing. You get to smile and be happy with this journey as the rainbow in her life begins to emerge. Without spoiling the book for every woman, man, father, daughter, brother and uncle that needs to read the book, let me simply end by saying that the book should not have ended..

I cried, a little devastated, then hopeful.

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So I return to start the book with that wonderful foreword. This book should be read in every school in South Africa, it should be mandatory reading for every South African. Perhaps it is time to face ourselves - and who we really are May 12, Melinda rated it really liked it Shelves: Born in South Africa when apartheid was in full throttle Diane Brown shares her story. Diane suffered through violence and racism slashing her sense of self which lead to a failed suicide attempt.

I grew up in violence. I live in a violent world. I experienced and witnessed violence in my home, in my school, on the playgrounds, in the streets, among siblings, in relationships, on the television, among parents and everywhere else. In South Africa violence is pandemic, and it is as common a phenomenon and part of our culture and psyche as boerewors, biltong and sunny skies.

He was a overzealous disciplinarian, no doubt sole ruler of his castle. Despite Diane being born with both African and European heritage, her looks resembled more of an African woman. She suffered a tremendous amount of violence and racism based on her looks. Unfortunately her skin color and hair texture caused her grief within her family, siblings possessing lighter skin and silkier hair deemed more attractive. Thus being treated in this manner incited a path towards depression.

But it has been my experience that I am not allowed to make mistakes or have flaws, which is an impossibility of course, because I am flawed. But the retaliation and punishment that I receive in these times I feel do not fit the flaws or the perceived crime. Sometimes I could just be presumed to be flawed and then I am punished. Those punishments, particularly when they attack who I am naturally, my character and life decisions, are painful beyond measure.

Listening to her inner voice "The Sabi" the reader joins her in her self-discovering sojourn. She is brave and unselfish in telling her story and it is greatly acknowledged. An array of emotions will be tested reading this story. The Sabi is insightful, the apartheid regime is explored - including color classification.

Diane's story is inspiring beyond words. This is not just a story of violence and abuse, this is a story of one amazingly strong woman's healing.


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A story of a courageous woman with incredible staying power overcoming injustices. Oct 17, John Mountford rated it it was amazing. One of the primary reasons I read, is to feel. I do not mind which emotion it is I experience as I make my way through the pages of a book - the more, the merrier - as long as I do feel something. That is why I enjoyed The Sabi. I felt it all the way through: The author bravely puts her heart on show in this story of the first part of her life, and it's Apartheid context makes it all the more poignant.

She avoids naming people and places. My initia One of the primary reasons I read, is to feel. My initial response to this was that she lacked courage, but as I journeyed deeper into her story, I corrected myself. Diane wants nothing to come between you and her emotional experience: Just her feelings on the page, and your heart receiving them.

If you are a 'feel' reader, like me, then read this book. Disappointment is one feeling you won't experience as you read it. May 31, Carolien rated it really liked it Shelves: This is an important book which addresses issues regarding race, violence and gender based on the author's personal experience growing up in Apartheid South Africa.

The language is expressive and it challenges the reader to test their assumptions and preconceived notions. Jan 10, Nana Prah rated it it was amazing.

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The story was incredibly sad and yet amazingly inspiring at the same time. Life for some people can be so difficult and seeing how they make it through can give an inordinate amount of hope. Life in South Africa during apartheid could never be described as easy unless a person was white. I learned a bit a bit of South African History through this story and even more about their race relations and how people tended to see each other.

I could feel the truth in her experience and those of others. A wonderful read for those who are curious about how South Africa got into their state of racial division and how it was maintained for so long.