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When the Ground Is Hard

Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
Length: 8 hrs and 5 mins
5 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

An Edgar Award nominee stuns in this heartrending tale set in a Swaziland boarding school where two girls of different castes bond over a shared copy of Jane Eyre.

Adele Joubert loves being one of the popular girls at Keziah Christian Academy. She knows the upcoming semester at school is going to be great with her best friend Delia at her side. Then Delia dumps her for a new girl with more money, and Adele is forced to share a room with Lottie, the school pariah, who doesn't pray and defies teachers' orders. 

But as they share a copy of Jane Eyre, Lottie's gruff exterior and honesty grow on Adele, and Lottie learns to be a little sweeter. Together, they take on bullies and protect each other from the vindictive and prejudiced teachers. Then a boy goes missing on campus and Adele and Lottie must rely on each other to solve the mystery and maybe learn the true meaning of friendship.

©2019 Malla Nunn (P)2019 Listening Library

Critic Reviews

"When the Ground Is Hard heralds a truly unique literary voice. In prose poetic and fierce, Malla Nunn gives us profound insight into the racial and class pecking order in 1960s Swaziland and the violence that shapes women’s and girls’ lives - and their futures. Taut, ambitious - a stunning debut." (Marina Budhos, author of the award-winning Watched and the forthcoming The Long Ride)

"The gorgeous imagery sets the scene wonderfully…an engrossing narrative that gently but directly explores complex relationships." (Kirkus Reviews)

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