The Bungalow: A Novel

The Bungalow: A Novel

by Lynn Freed
     
 
The Bungalow Lynn Freed Narrator Ruth Frank continues the fascinating story of her Jewish family and its privileged circle begun in the celebrated novel "Home Ground. "The Bungalow is set in a "glorious South African landscape in which bats swoop and squeal, monkeys steal bananas, flying ants cloud the light bulbs and people carry on their regular lives within

Overview

The Bungalow Lynn Freed Narrator Ruth Frank continues the fascinating story of her Jewish family and its privileged circle begun in the celebrated novel "Home Ground. "The Bungalow is set in a "glorious South African landscape in which bats swoop and squeal, monkeys steal bananas, flying ants cloud the light bulbs and people carry on their regular lives within smaller and smaller circumferences."

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Ruth Frank, the child-narrator of Freed's critically acclaimed Home Ground , has grown up in this appealing novel. Having married and settled in America, she returns to South Africa after her father suffers a heart attack. There, she resumes her youthful romance with Hugh Stillington, a reform-minded landowner from a prosperous family of sugar barons. Both a member of the South African diaspora with unshakeable ties to her homeland and a Jew, Ruth is an outsider belonging neither in America nor in the country of her birth. Only in Hugh's bungalow does she experience the ``keen sense of being in the right place.'' But when Hugh is murdered, leaving her pregnant, Ruth is forced to confront her sense of displacement. Ruth is a compelling heroine whose experiences shed light on white South Africa and its assumptions about race, class and belonging. And while the political turmoil of that country occasionally surfaces in a passing reference to Sharpeville or when an Indian writer is imprisoned for his views, the real story--like that of the biblical Ruth--is one of personal alienation and belonging. Though Freed's prose tends toward the heavy-handed, her main character's placelessness is powerfully rendered and profoundly felt. (Jan.)
Library Journal
Ruth Frank, the heroine of Freed's acclaimed Home Ground (LJ 8/86), returns to South Africa, her marriage a failure. She meets and falls for a maverick liberal who refuses to take seriously the racist rantings and social posturings of his peers. He is murdered and she is left, pregnant, to sort out her life. From such serious stuff, Freed has fashioned a continuously absorbing, savagely mocking comedy of manners about a community of wealthy Jews in South Africa in 1975. Bearing deracinated names like Edwina and Bunny, Ruth's friends have forgotten their own vulnerability in their newfound affluence; they make fun of the blacks in the university (``One of our favourite subjects. Academic standards'') and bemoan their intrusion into white dress shops (``Loud colours, you know. Isn't it awful?''). With an unsentimental eye, Freed conveys the claustrophobic quality of life among social climbers in a profoundly racist society on the eve of troubles. A fine novel, with a strong storyline and an engaging heroine.-- David Keymer, California State Univ., Stanislaus

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780671755874
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
Publication date:
12/01/1992
Pages:
240

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