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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.
©2013 Christine Courtenay (P)2014 Bolinda Publishing Pty. Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Melinda
  • SPRINGFIELD, VA, United States
  • 08-19-13

Recycled 'Power of One'

What made the experience of listening to Whitethorn the most enjoyable?

I've enjoyed several of Courtenay's books with Humphrey Bower narrating. While Bryce Courtenay is a great story teller, Humphrey Bower's talent puts the story over the top.

Would you recommend Whitethorn to your friends? Why or why not?

If you've read 'Power of One' this is almost an exact recycle of that story. Stick with 'Power of One' and you won't be disappointed.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Geoff
  • Newport, Australia
  • 01-31-10

another masterpiece with a slight issue

Having listened to all available books by Bryce, this is the first time I have had a slight issue. Before that the good stuff....As usual Mr Bower is superb in the delivery of this novel and the novel itself is another masterpiece.

I did find however that there was a little to much of Peekay in this book, and in fact great tracts of it could have been in Power of One.

This still will not stop me from checking every month for the next BC/HB journey to download.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Whitethorn

At the beginning of this book I nearly stoped listening because of the harsh circumstances, but just in time things looked brighter. From then on the book becomes a wonderful experience and the whole plot is fascinating right to the end.
The reader is absolutely ingenious and makes the whole book so much more enjoyable to listen to than you could ever imagine if you were merely reading it.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Typical Bryce Courtney/Humphrey Bower ....awesome

Where does Whitethorn rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Though a great book, this is not my favorite Bryce Courtenay book. If you haven't read/listened to The Power of One (my personal favorite), The Potato Factory, Tandia and others, you should treat yourself. As with all his books, you will laugh, cry and experience many emotions. His stories are influenced by his personal experiences growing up during difficult times in South Africa and his life in Australia. I was sad to hear of his death November 22. He will be greatly missed!
Humphrey Bower is by far my favorite narrator. He has an uncanny ability to change his voice and make the characters come alive! Such a talent is rare, you will not be disappointed. It's easy to understand why Bryce Courtenay chose him to read his books...what a great duo! Another book that he narrated beautifully (not Bryce Courtenay's) is Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts, if you like Bryce Courtenay, you should like this one, too.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Terry
  • San Francisco, CA, United States
  • 11-16-12

Epic, Awesome

How could it have taken me so long to find other Bryce Courtenay books besides The Power of One? Whitethorn was a huge pleasure, made more so by the skill and talent of Humphrey Bower, who adds so much to this book with his reading. Do yourself a huge favor and listen to this book.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic

From the moment I started listening I could not stop. The story and plot were very engrossing and Humphrey Bower did a fantastic job of bringing all the characters to life. As previous reviewers have said there is a section of the story right at the beginning of the novel which is quite graphic but once past that point the story is delightful. Very similar to "The Power of One" in many ways so if you enjoyed that, then this is a must read.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • John
  • Medley, 33178, FL, USA
  • 06-15-12

I can not praise this book enough

Would you consider the audio edition of Whitethorn to be better than the print version?

I only do AudioBooks these days.

Have you listened to any of Humphrey Bower’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

They have all been good, but Whitethorn hold a special place in my heart

Who was the most memorable character of Whitethorn and why?

The Doggie

Any additional comments?

This has to be one of my most favourite books... Possibly #1

As someone who was bullied at boarding school, I identified with the main character.

Loners often only find love and feel comfortable with animals or other outcast human beings.

I will listen to this again soon.

If this book does not make you cry, you don't have a soul....

Thank You Bryce Courtney for this wonderful gift

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

My Favorite Bryce Courtenay, with a warning

I came very close to completely quiting this book early on, as I have had to do with several other of Bryce's books. There is an act of older male child on younger male child sexual abuse as seen though the younger child's uncomprehending eyes. This is the only act that you "see" but a 2 minute fast forward would remove the worst of it. The incident is essential to plot, but knowing it happened is enough. The book is definately adult themed even without the above episode, but language is remarkably clean. The message is positive and hopeful, the history of South Africa and its challenges are beutifully covered. Tom, the orphan, you follow from 7 - 30 or so, is a delightful innocent soul, and the friends he makes along the way become your friends too. You will meet people from all walks of life, of all levels of morality, but right and goodness are the hero's here. If you liked Power of One, you will like this... as they are very similar.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • ARM
  • Colorado Springs, CO, US
  • 02-20-16

Struggled to finish

the first half of the book I loved. The second half drug on and on and he spent too much time focused on how his childhood had affected him. I love Courtenay's books but this one was a disappointment and it was too similar to his first one; "The Power of One"

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Sister Novel To "The Power Of One"

Any additional comments?

I feel like this is the book that Courtenay would have like to have written when he completed The Power Of One. It's a more polished story from a more experienced author, but with a little less heart. It's a good read and I definitely recommend it, but you will see a lot of parallels to The Power Of One...too many for my taste.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-19-18

A truly great book!

A wonderful book. One can i marine it would represent actual happenings that occurred at that time in history. Justice was served!

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 04-11-18

HIGHLY RECOMMEND!

love Bowers performance, he brings every character to life. There's a lot of similar themes to power of one but still a really enjoyable story with important messages and a great insight into south Africas culture.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • kevinplee@hotmail.com
  • 02-25-18

A triumph of justice against the odds

Another great book from Bryce with some of his familiar and trade mark sayings and rules of morality. I really enjoy Bryce's books, great value for money, interesting, even captivating and brilliantly narrated by Humphrey Bower ...nobody does it better.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Brad
  • 04-08-17

Great

Another cracking story from BC and the most excellent narration by Humphrey Bower. It would be hard to find a better narrator!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Veronica Josephs
  • 03-20-17

Humphrey Bower is excellent at narrating!

I had looked at this book a few times, but decided to give it a miss.
So glad I finally bought it!
I love the research that goes into Bryce's books. He really helps you 'see' into the worlds he creates. This book will go into my Must Listen To Again library.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Renee
  • 11-21-16

Another unputdownable effort!

Bryce Courtenay's stories are always intriguing, believable, and amazingly interesting. Humphrey Bower delivers the audio in his usual wonderful manner. this is an amazing partnership.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Itwasnotmeau
  • 07-28-15

Interesting

The story was interesting. I'm finding Bryce Courtnay is getting repetitive with his stories poor boy grows up to become good, among other common themes.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • judy
  • 04-23-14

I loved this book

What made the experience of listening to Whitethorn the most enjoyable?

I loved the story line. The story moved along fast enough.

What did you like best about this story?

It evoked a full range of emotions in me. It had its very sad parts but it also had a lot of feel good parts throughout it. It was a very interesting story as well and it gave insight into what it would have been like to be an orphan in that era.

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

He makes it so much more exciting and interesting. I can identify the characters just by the way he verbalises each character. I feel like I`m actually there and can easily picture the characters by the way he describes them.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

In this book there were a lot of moments that moved me, when the boys were leaving to go school to take up their scholarships and were at the station, I loved the part when he was recognised