Courtenay, Bryce. Tandia. London: William Heinmann, Ltd., 1991.
Reason read: to finish the series started in August in honor of Courtenay’s birth month.
This starts off as the story of Tandia Patel. Like Peekay in The Power of One, Tandia’s life begins with violence, prejudice and corruption. Her father, a famous Indian boxing referee, fathered her with his African American mistress. A racially mixed offspring in hyper color-sensitive South Africa is only asking for trouble. While Patel was alive, Tandia’s identity was one of confusion – going to school as Indian but coming home to be a black servant to her father’s household. After his heart attack and subsequent death, Tandia is predictably banished from his household and must rely on the kindness of strangers, much like Peekay did when he was a child. And speaking of Peekay, his life story continues in Tandia. Fans of Peekay’s character will not be disappointed. He only grows more and more admirable as he moves from boxing champion to lawyer, champion to the black community.
Other Power of One similarities include the kindness of an obese and jolly woman, the loyalty of a devoted and deformed servant, and the hatred of a powerful bigot and bully.
It is not a spoiler alert to warn readers of the horrific violence Tandia suffers at the hands of white policemen. I had a hard time reading those early scenes.
As an aside,like some other reviewers, I was disappointed by Courtenay’s ending. It was almost as if he didn’t know how to end it and I have to wonder if he was leaving himself room for another sequel.
Author fact: Courtenay died in November of 2012.
Book trivia: settle in to read Tandia as it is a healthy 900 pages long.
Nancy said: Nancy said Tandia as the sequel to The Power of One is, “just as good” (More Book Lust p 3).
BookLust Twist: from More Book Lust in the chapter called “Africa: a Reader’s Itinerary (p 2).