Tandia – Bryce Courtenay
I have enjoyed all the books I have read by this author. This was no exception. It is the sequel to the more well known The Power of One, which was also made into a movie. It’s is set in South Africa during the apartheid regime, and follows the story of Peekay as he pursues his boxing dream, but focuses on the story of Tandia.
Tandia is a young woman and a promising student who after being brutalised by the police, finds herself working as a prostitute. She is filed with hate for the white policeman who to her represents the brutality of apartheid. The book follows her journey to becoming a lawyer involved in the fight against apartheid.
One of the things I really enjoyed about this book was the way it included in this fictional story, significant historical events such as the Sharpeville masacre. This helped me to understand better and appreciate the history of the struggle against apartheid, especially as the story also touches on the beginnings of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the armed militant group of the ANC. It was labeled a terrorist group and banned by the apartheid government.
Tandia was a typical Bryce Courtenay tale. Graphic descriptions of the brutality but a fast moving story that kept me reading. Somewhere near the end, it did become a little fantastical and hence slightly less believable, but I’m so glad I read this book which lead me to read more about these times in South Africa’s history.