My Brother Themba

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
277 Pages
Reviewed on 07/20/2021
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Free Book Program, which is open to all readers and is completely free. The author will provide you with a free copy of their book in exchange for an honest review. You and the author will discuss what sites you will post your review to and what kind of copy of the book you would like to receive (eBook, PDF, Word, paperback, etc.). To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

Author Biography

The author, Michele van Rensburg grew up in Apartheid South Africa, developing her social conscience through voluntary work in disadvantaged communities. She later moved to the United Kingdom and trained as a social worker, developing her social conscience further whilst working with vulnerable children and their families. These human stories, depicting suffering and human endurance despite life's challenges, inspired her to put pen to paper (or fingers to the keyboard) after taking early retirement.

Michele van Rensburg is married and lives in a quiet village in North Yorkshire, United Kingdom. She has two adult sons, and is a doting grandmother.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite

My Brother Themba by Michele van Rensburg is a novel with strong historical underpinnings, exploring racial tension in South Africa. It follows two key characters, Themba, the child of an inter-racial relationship, and Alex, a white boy. Against the backdrop of the apartheid system, these two boys forge a powerful relationship but the color line makes it impossible for them to deepen the ties that bind them together. Themba is an outcast in his society and as he grows up, he becomes aware that he is different. Themba and Alex follow separate paths from high school. As they grow older and become adults, Themba begins to understand the system that has oppressed him. He has a strong connection with a father figure in his life. He also joins politics and political movements. However, his childhood friend, Alex, becomes a man broken by the system, living with pent-up anger and resentment. Can these characters heal and find their foothold in a society defined by racial lines?

This is a book with a compelling and historical theme: apartheid. The author does an impeccable job in writing about South African society under the apartheid system. Set in the 1980s, the book features vivid scenes of racial discrimination. It is a poignant story and that will move readers as they witness the characters’ psychological and emotional breakdowns. Here is a story that will bring tears to the eyes of many readers and arouse strong emotions of anger. Michele van Rensburg creates characters that are real and that fit perfectly in the world she has put them in. Her message will be irresistible to readers. The setting is wonderfully created and the entire story is filled with strong social commentaries and racial observations. My Brother Themba brings ‘80’s South Africa alive and transports readers into a world where the value of a human being is determined by the shade of his skin. One character is caught between the two dominant colors. Can he own two worlds?