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I received a free ecopy from the author in exchange for an honest review.
At the height of Apartheid, Pieter, a wealthy Afrikaner with family going back in South Africa for hundreds of years, and Audrey, a Brit, fall in love and are ready for a life of splendor together, but revolutionary changes are coming for South Africa. Michael Manzulu is ready to risk everything to change the status quo and wipe out his oppressors. As white rule begins to collapse, there is an uncertain sense of hope - Nelson Mandela may be able to bring about lasting change. Twenty-three years later, though, the country has suffered decline and continues to unravel and fear is palpable. Pieter and Audrey, though, navigate the threat as best as they can and hope that their home is never attacked. Recently, voices are beginning to speak out in protest, including the bombastic Afrikaner named Kaspar Coetzer. The world begins to take notice, but is beneficial and constructive change possible for South Africa?
I'm honored that K.M. Breakey offered me the opportunity to read his newest adult contemporary/ thriller that's also suitable for older YA or NA audiences. Like his previous release, Johnny and Jamaal, it isn't part of one of my go-to genres but it is definitely worth tackling the difficult and thought-provoking topics he covers. At its heart, Never, Never and Never Again is a family saga that spans approximately forty years covering the good, the bad, and everything in between. The novel also deals with apartheid and post-apartheid South Africa - and it explores both sides of the issues evenly from Pieter's white Afrikaner background to Michael's black South African heritage.
Going into this novel, I have to admit that I didn't know all that about recent and current events in South Africa. Of course, as I was reading I recalled a fair bit from my school unit on the country, but that was a while ago - or some pieces of news since then. Regardless, the novel still pulled me in from the opening chapters and it's a great jumping off point if you're interested in learning more about the complex history of the country. While this is a work of fiction, the author does an excellent job featuring real-life events and figures in his narrative. In regards to his original characters, everyone is flawed, but well drawn and relatable whether you agree with anyone's philosophies or not. It was easy to get wrapped up in Pieter Van Zyl's life and extended family over the years we spend with them. Finally, the only real issue I had while reading this novel was that there are a few moments when I felt removed from the story. Primarily, this happened when there's a shift in the time period as the author explains the change. While I could appreciate what the author was doing, it still snapped me out of the book for that short amount of time.
Overall, Never, Never and Never Again by K.M. Breakey is a must read if you're interested in a fictionalized account of apartheid and post-apartheid South Africa that includes real-life figures and events. One doesn't necessarily need to be all that knowledgeable about the setting or its complicated history and current events, but it could be helpful to have some background. This novel is quite thought-provoking and eye-opening and makes you fully consider all sides of the situations and ideas presented. I am definitely looking forward to K.M. Breakey's future projects after having read his two most recent releases.
Thanks again, Mr. Breakey!
I read this ebook from January 17 - 23, 2018 and my review is also on Goodreads.