Gillian Slovo’s Black Orchids is an engrossing narrative of love and its recriminations, both good and bad. You may not end up liking the characters, but you can definitely empathize with their predicaments, and this is probably a result of the effective and sensual prose. The sensuality and immersion in time and place is felt at its most in the opening section of the novel, which takes place in soon to be independent Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), around the midpoint of the twentieth century. Slovo writes well and I enjoyed this book. The black/white issue is still with us; the prejudices and the results of it must surely have an effect on mixed marriages.
show ad. Black Orchids. By Gillian Slovo (Virago, £1. 9). By Stephanie Cross for MailOnline Updated: 11:13 EDT, 31 October 2008. Fragile yet tenacious, endangered and exotic: orchids are fertile metaphors. But it is their ability to grow without soil, in defiance of convention, that speaks most to Emil. For Evelyn Williams, too, convention lacks appeal. As Evelyn's marriage - and state of mind - slowly unravels, the focus of Gillian Slovo's narrative transfers from mother to son. Milton's story, however, fails to move, and its twists are surprisingly crude
Black Orchids is a highly readable novel. After a mannered, adjective-heavy opening, it settles into a linear approach, and the resulting story can be sailed through. In many ways, though, it is flawed. Slovo also lapses into summarising eras and people: 'Out into the sunlit afternoon they went, those two children of the 1950s, steeled, like other children, by respect, by ritual and by rationing. exotic in a time when exoticism was not a quality to be admired.
FREE shipping on qualifying offers. When the genteely impoverished and rebellious Evelyn marries the charming Emil, scion of a privileged Sinhalese family.
It is difficult to believe, reading Gillian Slovo’s issues-heavy, politically liberal and morally black-and-white novels, that she started out as a crime-fiction writer. But she made her name with the literary novels: with Red Dust, almost a retread of Ariel Dorfman’s play Death and the Maiden but set in South Africa during the Truth and Reconciliation years, and Ice Road, a novel about Stalin’s purges and the Siege of Leningrad, which made it to the Orange Prize shortlist in 2004
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This is a family saga that travels from Ceylon in the 1940s to England in the 1950s and beyond. That racism was rife goes without saying, but this doesn't swamp the story, in fact it’s the inner family wrangling that takes up much of the book. There are no huge surprises, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s quite simply a rattling good read, best enjoyed on a Sunday afternoon with a nice cup of tea.
374 pages ; 23 cm. "When the genteely impoverished and rebellious Evelyn marries the charming Emil, scion of a rich and privileged Sinhalese family, she thinks that her dream of a life in England can now at last come true. So the couple and their young son Milton make the long journey from Ceylon to England in the 1950's and no matter how hard Evelyn wishes, England will not take kindly to strangers, especially families who are half black and half white.
Read "Black Orchids" by Gillian Slovo with Rakuten Kobo. When the genteely impoverished and rebellious Evelyn marries the charming Emil, scion of a privileged Sinhalese family, she thinks that her dream of a life in England can now at last come true. So the family travel, with their young son Milton, from Ceylon to Tilbury Docks. But this is England in the 1950s and, no matter how hard Evelyn wishes that it would, England does not take kindly to strangers, especially families who are half black and half white.
item 1 Slovo, Gillian, Black Orchids, Very Good Book -Slovo, Gillian, Black Orchids, Very Good Book. item 2 Black Orchids-Gillian Slovo, 9781844083107 -Black Orchids-Gillian Slovo, 9781844083107. item 3 Black Orchids,Gillian Slovo- 9781844083107 -Black Orchids,Gillian Slovo- 9781844083107. item 4 Black Orchids -Black Orchids. Born in South Africa, Gillian Slovo has written nine novels, one of which, RED DUST has been filmed with Hilary Swank and Chiwetel Ejiofor. Her first play, Guantanamo, played in London's West End and off-Broadway in New York. ICE ROAD was shortlisted for the Orange Prize. Little, Brown Book Group.