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Whitethorn | [Bryce Courtenay]

Whitethorn

From the author of The Power of One comes a new novel about Africa. The time is 1939. White South Africa is a deeply divided nation with many of the Afrikaner people fanatically opposed to the English. The world is also on the brink of war, and South Africa elects to fight for the Allied cause against Germany. Six-year-old Tom Fitzsaxby finds himself in The Boys Farm, an orphanage in a remote town in the high mountains, where the Afrikaners side fiercely with Hitler's Germany.
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Publisher's Summary

From the author of The Power of One comes a new novel about Africa. The time is 1939. White South Africa is a deeply divided nation with many of the Afrikaner people fanatically opposed to the English. The world is also on the brink of war, and South Africa elects to fight for the Allied cause against Germany. Six-year-old Tom Fitzsaxby finds himself in The Boys Farm, an orphanage in a remote town in the high mountains, where the Afrikaners side fiercely with Hitler's Germany. Tom's English name proves sufficient for him to be ostracised, marking him as an outsider. And so begin some of life's tougher lessons for the small, lonely boy. Like the whitethorn, one of Africa's most enduring plants, Tom learns how to survive in the harsh climate of racial hatred. Then a terrible event sends him on a journey to ensure that justice is done. On the way, his most unexpected discovery is love.

©2005 Bryce Courtenay; (P)2005 Bolinda Publishing Pty. Ltd.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (456 )
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4.7 (366 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Henry 04-10-15
    Henry 04-10-15 Member Since 2010
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    124
    8
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    Performance
    Story
    "Great writer and storyteller."

    Bryce Courtney is a great storyteller and entertaining writer. His books could be up there with some of the "Greats" but he gets down into the details of the social gutter too much at times to appeal to a wider audience. A little more discretion on the social/human dark side would allow me to recommend this to a lot more people.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robyn Snellville, GA, United States 03-30-15
    Robyn Snellville, GA, United States 03-30-15 Member Since 2011

    Busy attorney and mom that likes to catch up on books while I commute.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A little bit of a retread of the Power of One"

    Bryce Courtenay is a masterful storyteller, and there are great things within this novel, but it is a bit of a retread of the Power of One. Humphrey Bower's performance was very good, although he needs to work on his Irish accent. I'm not sure I would recommend this book over the power of one, but it is a good story of Justice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John R. Smith Florida, USA 02-16-15
    John R. Smith Florida, USA 02-16-15 Member Since 2013

    Sunman

    ratings
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    3
    3
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    Story
    "Fantastic!"

    Yet again, Bryce Courtenay writes an amazing, well written story. I enjoy the foundation of history henhanced by fiction. I highly recommend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Teena Ladhams Spearwood, Western Australia, AU 01-31-15
    Teena Ladhams Spearwood, Western Australia, AU 01-31-15 Member Since 2011
    ratings
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    7
    1
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    "Enjoyed"

    AN interesting insight into the history of the times in Africa. Makes us look at how hard life was for African people.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jon Balwyn North, Australia 06-10-14
    Jon Balwyn North, Australia 06-10-14

    Solutionist

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "Enjoyable as always!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Whitethorn to be better than the print version?

    Probably.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Tinker the dog.


    What does Humphrey Bower bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Humphrey is a one man (and sometimes woman) cast. Incredibly smooth segues from one character to another.


    If you could rename Whitethorn, what would you call it?

    Survivor!


    Any additional comments?

    Perhaps lacking in some of the raw energy of his earlier books, but still a large and moving story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Martha Humphreys Montana, USA 11-24-13
    Martha Humphreys Montana, USA 11-24-13 Member Since 2014

    coachwrite

    HELPFUL VOTES
    55
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    74
    61
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    6
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    "Clever boy triumphs in pre WW II South Africa"

    This was a good listen if you're a Courteney fan---and I became one with "The Power of One". If you listen to that one first, this one is not a sequel, but another effort along the same lines...entertaining information about SA during the time the author grew up there. An easy, presumably factual, history lesson...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    TURNER SCHAFER PEORIA, AZ, United States 11-18-13
    TURNER SCHAFER PEORIA, AZ, United States 11-18-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "engrossing"
    Would you listen to Whitethorn again? Why?

    Yes and I even started to, great story and awesome narration.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Favorite character was Tom and Mattress.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    shed a little tear at the very end, but my favorite part of the book was in the beginning setting the stage and scenery.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    yes laughed, cried. The narration was awesome, so good it's been hard to find another audiobook I enjoy. the narrator did the voices of the different people wonders.


    Any additional comments?

    This was a unique book in the way it was written. As Tom the main character was telling it back to you, and the style was that it was like an oral story told back to you because he would say oh and I forgot to tell you this happened, or you were probably wondering why I knew this. So listening on audio is probably better then reading. It really puts you in the time and place the book took place in. Highly recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ingrid 10-21-13
    Ingrid 10-21-13 Member Since 2012
    ratings
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    80
    8
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    "Most enjoyable"

    I really enjoyed this book. The second part seems almost unnecessary because the first half is almost enough of a story, with interesting elements of South African history told in a non-judgmental way. None the less it is a very enjoyable listen. I enjoy Humphrey Bower as narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    love to read tx 10-20-13
    love to read tx 10-20-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    178
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    "FABULOUS!"

    This is my 12th Bryce Courtenay novel and my favorite by far. You won't be disappointed. I love Humphrey Bower's performance of the Courtenay novels.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Wesport, CT, United States 06-06-13
    Andrew Wesport, CT, United States 06-06-13 Member Since 2011

    Westport, CT

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Better than Power of One"

    This was worth reading even if you read its twin brother the Power of One, has more comedy and also is better written, Power of One was BC's first so it was a bit rough.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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