Thankyou to Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read Kismet by Cynthia Sacht and Ilona Beutum.
Kismet means fate or destiny.
It is 1997, three years since Apartheid was dismantled. A new South Africa has emerged. There are new opportunities, but some people remain supportive of the past era, unable to change their attitudes.
Kismet is a luxurious Manor house built by Abram Lewin with the proceeds from his successful steel business.
The story is about the fate of the people who live at Kismet, their families and friends, their present and past, and their complex, intertwined relationships.
Currently, Steve Lewin, Abram’s son, and his wife Lexie live in Kismet Manor. They are wealthy and white South Africans. Steve is somewhat of a playboy, not working since the steel business was sold. Lexie is an attorney and also a panelist on the TV show “Live Talk”. Lexie has begun to question their safety in this new regime.
Their great dane dog, Sparks is a wonderful character!
Kate Mabusa is their live-in black maid. She has worked for the family for 25 years. Her 2 children live in Soweto, cared for by her relatives. Kate can only visit them on her Sundays off. Her daughter Felicia, would love to become a doctor. And her son Elias is a talented painter who has left school.
The love of her life was a white man, but their love at that time was a crime. Even though the laws have changed, some people’s attitudes haven’t.
The family doctor is, Dr Henry Keyler, also a TV Panellist on “Live Talk”. He is intent on promoting unity across the racial divides. He is wealthy and white. His wife and children disagree with his views.
The South Africa of this time is still a place of violent crime and racism.
Through this mix of characters, we are given an insight into the history of the New South Africa of this time. What it was like to be white, black, or of mixed-race. The differences between being affluent and poor. Unfortunately, the masses were still poor and still dependent on the white minority group.
With some love stories and an unexpected murder, the book keeps you wondering what will be the fate of all the characters.
There is a quote at the front of the book “Be the light that helps others see, it is what gives life its deepest significance” by Roy T Bennett. It is very powerful, and I hope one day that there will be lots of “lights” and a world without racism.
I was really pleased to have had the opportunity to read this book. I really enjoyed it and learned a lot about the history of South Africa, which previously I knew very little about. The book does make you think, particularly how lucky we are in Australia.
A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club Members are reading Kismet by Cynthia Sacht and Ilona Beutum. You can read their comments below, or add your own review.
I love to read, any book on any topic. I now love ebooks as they are easier to store, I was running out of bookshelves! My other interests are family, gardening and our beautiful King Charles spaniel dog who is my reading companion.