Unabridged audiobook read by Lisa Ray. Seven CD's + Bonus DVD of collector materials.
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 cafe with Jacob her 'coloured' business partner. When she meets Miriam, a young traditional wife and mother, their unexpected attraction pushes Miriam to question the rules that bind her. When Amina helps Miriam's sister-in-law to hide from the police, a chain of events is set in motion that changes both women forever.
In a system that divides white from black and women from men, what chance is there for an unexpected love to survive?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Shamim Sarif appears to possess the gift of writing verse as prose and the world unseen is a fine example of this lyricism. This is not great literature but it certainly is an easy read (I read it in a single sitting), drawing you in to empathize with the characters, rooting for them to succeed. It is a captivating book and I would highly recommend reading it.
At its core is the restrained love story between Amina and Miriam, both astonished by the intensity of their feelings and the common need to break out of their oppressive worlds. It is a story of opposites - of repression and expression, questioning tradition and blind acceptance, of courage and fear, of integrity and deceit, of finding a voice and finally of choices. What really evolves from this story are these broader themes, more universal in their appeal, underscored by each of its remarkable characters as small actions either in defiance of apartheid or convention, an arcane custom or simply humor in the face...
The World Unseen was a great read. The writing was smooth and effortless to read. The characters were sympathetic and well drawn, including several secondary characters. The prose vividly portrays the time and place in which the characters exist, bringing it all alive within the reader's mind.
If you're looking for a typical lesbian romance though, you may not be that interested. More than one third into the book the two women had only met briefly twice. The story follows their separate lives and then eventually weaves them together. The book is nicely paced, always moving forward. But it's not a fast pace. It's more of a slow moving river as opposed to a rushing torrent.
What I truly appreciated was the glimpse I was given into the ethnic and cultural conflicts of South Africa in the early 1950's. The story takes place near the beginning of apartheid, which was a bit of an eye opener for me in terms of its timing. As Europe and North America moved towards events...
I've read it several times. Where all lesbian fiction authors seem to fall short, this author excels. Truly, one of the best books I've read. She captures reality in such a painful, poignant and relatable way. Even though I literally have no similarities between my life and the lives of the characters, I found myself relating to them. I could feel what they felt, cared for what they cared for and wanted what they wanted.
My absolute favorite thing about the way she writes is that she jumps from the perspective of the main characters and often shares the perspectives of secondary characters. This does so much for expanding the story without too much narrative. I LOVE this work and I love her other book, "I can't think straight".
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