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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Zebra: Friends by Fate, Enemies by Destiny is a work of fiction in the cross-cultural adventure and interpersonal drama sub-genres. It is suitable for the general adult reading audience and was penned by author Jill Wallace, with narration in this audiobook format performed by Peter Noble. Inspired by the real-life adventures of Athol Wallace, Zebra tells the heart-wrenching tale of Jock and Papin and their extraordinary interracial childhood friendship during the Apartheid era in South Africa. What begins as an appreciative and loving friendship turns cold under the pressures of time and society when the two now-grown men reunite on opposite sides of the battlefield.
In terms of the plot and its construction, author Jill Wallace has done an incredible job of balancing the many complex aspects of this heartfelt and deeply personal tale: from the resonant and chilling setting that takes us through Apartheid to the balance of prejudice, acceptance, despair, and hope in Jock and Papin’s emotional journey. I especially enjoyed the accuracy and cultural significance of the dialogue, which conveyed some of the most heartbreaking moments for both men as the novel progressed.
In terms of its audio presentation, narrator Peter Noble only further enhanced the unbridled emotional quality of the story with a stellar vocal performance. Distinct and diverse when it is needed, and harmonious and unifying in key moments, it’s clear that Noble has put heart and soul into every moment of this highly relevant work. Overall, Zebra cannot come highly recommended enough: a must-read for fiction fans from all walks of life, made even better by its audiobook transformation.