Nature Lessons: A Novel

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Macmillan, 2004 - Fiction - 288 pages
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A first-rate, beautifully-written novel about an émigré living in the States who goes back to her native South Africa to look for her missing mother--a fictional debut that will be a draw both to critics and to readers of fine, accessible fiction

Set against a backdrop of South Africa's troubled history, natural beauty, and complex contemporary society, Nature Lessons is a riveting story of a forty-year-old woman, Kate Jensen, struggling to come to terms with the legacy of growing up with a mentally ill mother--including an inability to form long-term, committed relationships--and the guilt she feels as a white person who grew up during the apartheid era.

Leavened with humor and full of wisdom gained from a childhood where nature's lessons were all too visible to ignore, Lynette Brasfield has written a heartbreaking but ultimately affirming novel about growing up in the shadow of mental illness.

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User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

With its South African connection, Brasfield's first strains to link the days of Apartheid with a mother's paranoia and a daughter's difficulty with men.Starting in 1995 and moving back to the '60s ... Read full review

Nature lessons

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Brasfield exhibits her talent for description in this ambitious first novel, which tells the story of Katie's growing up in the turmoil of 1960s South Africa. Katie's attempts to survive a paranoid ... Read full review

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About the author (2004)

Lynette Brasfield was born in Durban, South Africa, and moved to the United States in 1985. She's worked as a journalist, toy salesperson, assistant librarian, high school teacher, and public relations executive. She now lives in Southern California with her husband and two sons.

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