Friday, 1 July 2016

Friday Memes and 'Cracks' by Sheila Kohler

CracksA while ago I watched the film Cracks because I am a major Eva Green fan. When I then found out that there was a novel that the film was based on I was very excited. Unfortunately it took me quite a while to get my hands on the novel until last week I realised I could request it for a trans-library loan through my local library. I've read about a third and so far I am enjoying the thriller-esque tone of it.
A beautiful schoolgirl mysteriously disappears into the South African veld. Forty years later, thirteen members of the missing girl's swimming team gather at their old boarding school for a reunion, and look back to the long, dry weeks leading to Fiamma's disappearance. 
As teenage memories and emotions resurface, the women relive the horror of a long-buried secret. A stunning and singular tale of the passion and tribalism of adolescence, Cracks lays bare the violence that lurks in the heart of even the most innocent.

Book Beginnings and Friday 56 are hosted by Gillion over at Rose City Reader and Freda over at Freda's City. Hop over there to join in on the meme fun!

Book Beginnings:
'The white sky meets the flatness of the plain, pressing down heavily all around. In front of the school nothing moves except the shimmer of heat. It is all distance, flat land, sky, and the slight trace of the river that runs slow and dun beside the graves toward the low, blue hills. 
Looking out, so many years later, from the red-roofed buildings of our Dutch-gabled school across terraces lawns and veld toward the river and the wattle trees, we can no longer see the graves,but we can still hear the hum of the mosquitoes that swarm along the banks of the stagnant water. We can still smell the thick smoke of Miss G's cigarette.' p.5 (first page)
I realise I shared quite a lot from the beginning but I thought it would be good to show how beautifully Kohler's descriptions flow on and on. While the film moves the plot to somewhere in England, the novel is set in South-Africa and Kohler speckles her writing with Afrikaans words. The surrounding seems to have a really big influence on the characters, on their sense of freedom, so I thought it'd be nice to share that sense of openness while also showing how Miss G hangs over their memory of the place.


Friday 56:
'Leaning far out the window, Bobby Joe told us the man looked like a fairy with golden eyes.' p.55-6
There were no good teasers on page 56 itself, so I sneaked part of a sentence on p.55 in! I really like the way Cracks gets you involved in the dynamics between the school girls, how each has their thing they excel at, their weakness, their desire for something else. The closeness that the isolation of a boarding school fosters is something I was always both glad to have missed out on and slightly jealous of.

Have you read Cracks or seen the film? And how do you feel about boarding schools in books?

19 comments:

  1. This book and film are new to me. I'm glad you managed to find a copy of the book and are enjoying it. This week my book is Silver on the Road by Laura Anne Gilman. Happy reading!

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    1. It took me way to long to find it but I'm rally glad I did! On my way to check your post out and thanks for commenting :)

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  2. Hi Juli! Whoa - I've never heard of this book.... AND I AM AFRIKAANS AND from SOUTH AFRICA! Does sound like a wonderful book/movie. Thanks so much for sharing. Please hop over to my blog! http://marelithalkink.blogspot.co.za/2016/07/friday-meets-01-july-2016.html

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    1. :O I'm always surprised when other people know Dutch books that I don't because surely, as a Dutch person, I should know them?! On my way to check your post out and thanks for commenting :)

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  3. This sounds like an interesting book and I love Eva Green films - will have to look this one up. Thanks for visiting my Friday meme earlier

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    1. She is amazing, isn't she? Thanks for commenting :)

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  5. Seems okay, enjoy the book. :-)

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  6. I haven't heard of this one but it sounds like one I need to read! I'm adding it to my TBR. I hope you're enjoying it!

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    1. It's really good so far, I can't wait to write my review about it! Thanks for commenting :)

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  7. This one is new to me, but the excerpts, the premise, and the settings draw me in. Thanks for sharing! I will look for it. And thanks for visiting my blog.

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    1. Do let me know if you give it a try! Thanks for commenting :)

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  8. Thanks for sharing, and visiting my blog. I am South African, and also surprised to never have heard of this book or author. I am going to look out for it, and her other books.

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    1. While searching for it I've realized it's not a very well-known book so that may be why? It definitely deserves more attention though! Thanks for commenting :)

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  9. Sounds so very good. You had me at thriller though... lol
    Happy weekend!

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    1. Thrillers have a massive draw for me as well! Thanks for commenting :)

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  10. Both the book and movie are new to me, but I'd like to see them both now!

    Check out my Friday 56 (With Book Beginnings).

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    1. The film is really good, has you on the edge of your seat! Same with the book so far ;) Thanks for commenting :)

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