Top 10 Fiction Books Set in South Africa

 

South Africa is a country on the southern-most tip of Africa, which has beautiful beaches, plush green lands, cliffs and beaches that make it a really pleasant country to visit. The Western Cape and Cape Town offer beautiful sights.

So with this list of fiction books set in South Africa, you will hopefully feel like you are in one of the incredible settings there and leave you wide-eyed with wonder.

 

Disgrace

David Lurie is a professor in post-apartheid South Africa. Though divorced twice, he visits prostitute centers and lives a mediocre laidback life. This whole reverie is shattered when he seduces a student and sets into motion a series events that will horrifyingly disgrace his reputation. The story is unimaginable and it is a very good read which tells us a lot about the surrounding beauty of the place.

Read it For:
It is a must-read. For all book lovers who like their beliefs twisted, turned; their feelings knotted and loosened; and their questions answered yet questioned, this book is for them.
Don't Read it For:
The book is very solemn. If you are looking for something exciting or fast-paced, this is not the book to go for.
What makes this book stand out?:
Its impeccable story, which is written quite beautifully and sensibly.

The Power of One

The story is about young Peekay who meets an amateur boxer Hoppie Groenewald, and how he is inspired to become the welterweight champion of the world. This book is a touching, inspiring book about racial hatred, the power of one and the multi-faces of people. The description of the state and its populace makes it one of the best fiction books set in South Africa. The book has a strong plotline with quirky characters, which leaves us turning the pages.

Read it For:
Whether you like this book or not depends on how you like your characters and your endings. If you like vague and indirect prose, with inner deep meanings, then this one is surely for you
Don't Read it For:
Subtlety or thrill cannot be found in this book. This book is purely aesthetic in my point of view.
What makes this book stand out?:
The simple way a harsh story is weaved into something both imaginable and impactful.

Cry, the Beloved Country

It is the passionate story about a black man’s country under a white man’s rule. It talks about a Zulu pastor Stephen Kumalo and his son, amidst terrible racial injustice. It is a book of love, courage, endurance and dignity of a man. It was a bestseller as soon as it was published. The writing is both poetic and marvelously historic.

Read it For:
One really connects with the Kumalos. If you are looking for a soul-pleasing or soothing book, then this one is for you. If you believe in second chances or life’s mysterious challenges, then this book is a must-read for you.
Don't Read it For:
The book might be a little slow for avid readers who love thrillers and fantasy.
What makes this book stand out?:
The story is well-written and thoroughly enjoyable. You can connect to the father-son duo a lot throughout the book.

The Housemaid’s Daughter

The book is about Cathleen Harrington and her housemaid’s daughter Ada who become really close until Ada flees, scorned by her own community. This is a deeply emotional book about societal norms and what it takes to be the person to reform beliefs.

Read it For:
A true feel of the state of South Africa. This book truly makes you feel like you're in the place.
Don't Read it For:
Do not expect a clear storyline or strong characters.
What makes this book stand out?:
It's undeterred description of the South African state
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When the Lion Feeds

Sean and Garrick grew up on their father's farm in Natal. The first part of the book deals with his childhood and youth, where their cattle-farming is interrupted by war. Wilbur Smith vividly recreates the excitement of the war. Then occurs Sean's success in the gold rush and his rich life with Duff Charleywood and the beautiful Candy in the new town of Johannesburg. The book is a creative adventure.

Read it For:
It quirky characters with good character descriptions
Don't Read it For:
For new or quirky, never-heard-before tales, because though the detective is a quirky character, the story is old school.
What makes this book stand out?:
The sceneries of the place and the story are all beautifully portrayed.

Kaffir Boy, An Autobiography

Mark Mathabane is poor and schooled in South Africa's most desperate ghetto, where bloody gang wars and midnight police raids are often occurrences. Even though there is a risk to his life, Mark, armed only with the courage of his family and a hard-won education, raised himself up from the squalor and humiliation to win a scholarship to an American university.

Read it For:
The simple writing that doles out a rather touching tale in the most softest of manners. It leaves readers with a strong mix of emotions.
Don't Read it For:
It might be too depressing for cynical readers or people who do not like this genre.
What makes this book stand out?:
Interesting novel of a most gifted writer, this work of art and modern writing breaks all its boundaries.

Marabou Stork Nightmares

This book brings us into the mind of Roy Strang, whose illusioned adventure to eradicate the evil scavenger Marabou Stork keeps being interrupted by grisly memories of the social and family dysfunction that brought him to this state. It is the sort of lethally funny cocktail of pathos, violence, and outrageous hilarity that only Irvine Welsh can pull off.

Read it For:
A good tale spun with intricate drama, socialising and humor. How the simplest of things in life can change us forever
Don't Read it For:
The story seems to drag on, and the readers may find it hard to connect with the characters
What makes this book stand out?:
The story is expansive and teaches us a lot about life, joy, loss, and heartbreak.

The Butterfly Lion

A small boy tries to run away from his boarding school in England where he meets a woman who tells him the story about Bertie and his beautiful white lion. This is a highly imaginative and touching story of childhood emotions and the fears we face in our youth. It is a simply woven plot that grabs the reader’s attention.

Read it For:
The beautiful characters weaved with their woeful tales makes it a must-read for bookworms.
Don't Read it For:
The book speaks about a lot of sadness, and negative in some places. Do not read it with a bad mood.
What makes this book stand out?:
There have not been many novels that are this imaginative and beautiful.

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