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Waterlandsridge is the story of an African farm in the early 1960s told by two teenagers, a brother and a sister. Through what they see, experience and think we acquire an intimate insight into their rural universe with all its characteristic rhythms of life and death, hope and grief.

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About Vincent Gray

As a son of a miner I was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. I grew up on the East Rand mining town of Boksburg. I matriculated from Boksburg High School. After high school I was conscripted into the South African Defence Force for compulsory national military service when I was 17 years old. After my military service I went to the University of the Witwatersrand. After graduating with a BSc honours degree I worked for a short period for the Department of Agriculture in Potchefstroom as an agronomist. As an obligatory member of the South African Citizen Miltary Force, I was called up to do 3 month camps on the 'Border' which was the theatre of the so-called counter insurgency 'Bush War'. In between postgraduate university studies I also worked as a wage clerk on the South African Railways and as a travelling chemical sales rep. I am currently working as a molecular biologist at the University of the Witwatersrand, where I am employed to do teaching and research. My students and I are doing research into the genomics of strange and weird animals known as entomopathogenic nematodes.

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Review by: Aisha Esbhani on Jan. 14, 2017 :
I am on a quest of reading a book from every country of the world.
Here is a link to my page: www.facebook.com/reading197countries
I have posted this review on my page. Hope you enjoy it :)

As for South Africa, I got in touch with author Vincent Gray. I had decided to choose Martin Luther King's book but then I realised that this project was all about exploring the hidden authors from different countries. Besides, I couldn't read a book of an author I had already read before.

And so, Gray informed me that her book, Waterlandsridge was available as an e-book on SmashWords for free. Exhilarated, I downloaded the book onto my laptop and immediately started reading.

Gray has the capability of completely changing ones emotions through his writing; she made me melancholic, she made me empathetic.

Set in a farm, this book describes the life of two adolescents, Zac and Judith as they live their life plowing, harvesting, picking strawberries and driving the tractor. The two individuals and siblings were forced to take farming as their top priority rather than education and extra-curricular activities. This book has made me feel for all those deprived children of the rural areas who are willing to go to school but can not do so because of the conditions and circumstances.

We notice the two youngsters managing themselves in tiny rooms, with no curtains; no privacy.

However, Zac and Judith had big dreams. There interests were filmmaking and writing. ( just to let you know, I immensely enjoy writing too)

Repeatedly, we come across a preconceived notion that is, nothing goes well at Waterlandsridge. We see death of a child caused by leukaemia, we see a person commit suicide. But we also see success, good crops and high income rates.

But soon a migration to America changes Zac, Judith and their family's life forever. No more living in a tram. No more farm. No more Waterlandsridge. Just city. Just technology.

The family's emotions are displayed unpredictable, one moment they were weeping, and the other smiling with happiness, joy and excitement.

Overall, this book is like a very long descriptive essay. That can be an advantage and a disadvantage too. There are some unnecessary details that make the story boring but there are a few twists which add suspense and make the reader eager to continue reading. Gray is a tremendous writer, Waterlandsridge is some tremendous work.
(review of free book)
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