White Dog Fell from the Sky

White Dog Fell from the Sky

4.6 15
by Eleanor Morse, Carla Mercer-Meyer
     
 

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Botswana, 1976. Isaac Muthethe thinks he is dead. Smuggled across the border from South Africa in a hearse, he awakens covered in dust, staring at blue sky and the face of White Dog. Far from dead, he is, for the first time, in a country without apartheid. A medical student in South Africa, he was forced to flee after witnessing a friend murdered by white members

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Overview

Botswana, 1976. Isaac Muthethe thinks he is dead. Smuggled across the border from South Africa in a hearse, he awakens covered in dust, staring at blue sky and the face of White Dog. Far from dead, he is, for the first time, in a country without apartheid. A medical student in South Africa, he was forced to flee after witnessing a friend murdered by white members of the South African Defense Force.Walking along the road into Gaborone, Botswana's capital, White Dog following close behind, a chance encounter with an old school acquaintance changes the course of Isaac's life. Amen, a member of the ANC, the South African resistance movement, invites Isaac to stay with his family. Petrified of deportation and determined to find work, he swears he will stay just for a few days. He sets out to find work and is hired by a young American woman, Alice Mendelssohn, who is living in Botswana with her husband, Lawrence.A year later, her marriage an empty shell, Alice sets off on a work-related trip to the vast bush that she loves-alternately austere and lush, with light that blinds-leaving her home in the care of her new gardener, Isaac. It is on this trip that she meets Ian, an expert on the !Kung San and a rebellious, untamable man twenty years her senior, with whom she imagines a very different future.Returning home, Alice finds Isaac missing and White Dog waiting loyally at the end of the drive, dehydrated and malnourished. When she goes in search of Isaac, what she finds out will change her life.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Morse's unflinching portrayals of extremes of loyalty and cruelty make for an especially memorable novel." —Publishers Weekly
Library Journal
In 1976, South Africa's apartheid policy forces medical student Isaac Muthethe to leave family behind for the shelter of a more democratic Botswana. There he encounters two people who will alter the trajectory of his well-planned life. Hired by idealistic American Alice Mendelssohn, Isaac becomes a trusted gardener and caretaker. Alice, traveling on government business, embarks on a passionate affair with the older, charismatic Ian, a man whose love of Africa matches her own, while Isaac becomes involved with a friend from home, now a member of the South African resistance. When two acts of violence, one natural and one human-made, put a cruel end to the dreams of each character, the infinite, healing power of love is put to the test. VERDICT Recipient of a Best Regional Fiction in the Northeast award for An Unexpected Forest, Morse writes heartbreakingly of isolation, loss, and the soul-deadening effect of torture. Her mesmerizing descriptions of Africa will leave readers wondering how a continent of such beauty can harbor so much evil. Like Vaddey Ratner's In the Shadow of the Banyan or Chris Bohjalian's The Sandcastle Girls, this is for readers unafraid to plumb the depths of human emotion.—Sally Bissell, Lee Cty. Lib. Syst., Ft. Myers, FL

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781452611976
Publisher:
Tantor Media, Inc.
Publication date:
02/28/2013
Edition description:
Unabridged CD
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 5.30(h) x 1.10(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Morse's unflinching portrayals of extremes of loyalty and cruelty make for an especially memorable novel." —-Publishers Weekly

Meet the Author

Carla Mercer-Meyer, an AudioFile Earphones Award–winning audiobook narrator, has a strong musical theater background, and her performances include Into the Woods, You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, and many other theatrical productions.

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White Dog Fell from the Sky: A Novel 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
mellow More than 1 year ago
I liked the main character and learned some interesting things about Africa.
literarymuseVC More than 1 year ago
White Dog Fell From The Sky. Eleanor Morse. Penguin Group (USA). December 2013. 368 pp. pbk. ISBN #: 9780143124436. It is sheer irony to be reading this novel four days after the great South African leader, Nelson Mandela, has been laid to rest in his hometown in South Africa. For Eleanor Morse has crafted the story of a white woman, Alice Mendelssohn, and a South African colored man, Isaac Muthethe, who lived through the perilous times in the late 70’s and did so much more than survive. 1976 – It is against the law for a colored person to be outside without a passport; it’s also against the law for them to enter certain stores, use public facilities reserved for white people, or look a white person directly in the eye, let alone to disagree with that person. It practically is against the law to live. Now it has become even more dangerous as the secret members of the ANC resistance movement are carrying out their protests against apartheid with violent acts. The South African Defense Forces in turn are killing ANC members or those suspected of being involved with the ANC. So Isaac, after seeing his best friend brutally killed, flees South Africa into neighboring Botswana. There a white dog “with the wisdom of ages” falls out of the sky and becomes Isaac’s devoted companion and guide. Isaac’s future as a medical student seems a dead goal since he is now considered an ANC member though he has never participated in any actions and attended only a couple of meetings. Isaac finally finds work as a gardener for Alice and learns to do a beautiful job with the help of an elderly gardener who lives nearby Alice’s home. Isaac’s goal is to save enough money for his sister and brother to go to school and to save his other brother from poverty and living as an outlaw. Much will happen to all in these pages but Isaac is one very dedicated and persevering proud black man. Alice, on the other hand, is about to undergo tremendous change as she chooses to leave an unfaithful man. She will mistrust many men before she finds one to trust and respect as well as love. They will share a journey in which the unrivaled immensity and unbridled cruelty of the African bush, the latter created by the white colonizers who now believe this ancient land is now their own home. The descriptions of the scenery and animals in this portion of the novel are nothing short of extraordinarily beautiful and lyrical. Isaac will undergo a phase in his life that is agonizingly painful to read but which the reader realizes must be told as the realistic truth that existed for far too many during that very violent historical period. Alice and her friend will ultimately prove to be saviors to both Isaac and his family but to tell that story here would be to deny the reader an amazing, well-researched, intriguing and phenomenal experience! Eleanor Morse is a literate, intelligent and gifted writer who has gifted the world with a classic work of vivid historical fiction. Highly, highly recommended!!!!!
An_Arkansas_Reader More than 1 year ago
Set in 1976, White Dog Fell From the Sky weaves together the stories of Isaac, a refugee fleeing from Apartheid in South Africa, and Alice, an American woman living in Botswana. Isaac's story was by far my favorite part of the book, and I would give his part of the story 5 stars. His thoughts are insightful and eloquent and he is very brave. With just the clothes on his back, he is forced to flee South Africa after witnessing a friend's murder. I did not find Alice's story nearly as engrossing. Her marriage falls apart and she begins a relationship with a man she meets on a business trip. Her relationship problems seem unimportant contrasted to Isaac's struggle. I found myself hurrying through the chapters about her to find out what would happen to Isaac. I would give her part of the book 3 stars, hence the four star average. Morse's writing was beautifully evocative, I will look forward to her next novel
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This stunning novel is the story of two people whose lives intersect in 1970's Botswana: a young black medical student from South Africa, and an American woman who hires her as her gardener. It is well written, with wonderful characters; the author uses a different voice for each of her main characters, which adds to the charm of the novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very compelling book. The tragedy of apartheid,and a story you don,t want to miss.
DMCNY More than 1 year ago
This book is so well written. The choice of words and description is just so beautiful!! I would actually like to read it again and again.
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Great book! I hated for it to end!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a winner. The main character is one of the best I have encountered in a long time. I hated for the book to end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago