Philida by André Brink

book cover of Philida

If any lasting harm had been done to Kleinkat, I’d have rated this book one star, I swear to God.

So, I read this book to learn a little bit more about the history and cultural background of South Africa, which I’m travelling to in just a few days and where my partner’s family is from. Philida is a reasonable book for that, but it wasn’t really a particularly enjoyable story. There is a lot of senseless cruelty (against cats and humans) which might be accurate for the period, but is unpleasant to read about. Philida herself is a good character, but everyone else in the story is rather shallow and often inconsistent. Frans Brink was particularly contemptible. It’s not like there was nothing interesting or good about the book, but there was a lot dragging it down. Two stars.


a cartoony avatar of Jessica Smith is a socialist and a feminist who loves animals, books, gaming, and cooking; she’s also interested in linguistics, history, technology and society.