The Fiela’s Child Community Note includes chapter-by-chapter summary and analysis, character list, theme list, historical context, author biography and quizzes. Fiela’s Child is a work of fiction by award-winning South African writer Dalene Matthee. It is one installment of a four-part series known as the Forest Books. Fiela’s Child. Synopsis. God forgives many things, but God never forgives us the wrong we do to a child. On the one side of the mountain, in the Long Kloof.

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She was also interested in reflecting on “the power of a woman”, the instinct of love and protection as she sees it, so lacking in weak Barta.

View all 3 comments. In the novel by Dalene Matthee the aspect of liminalityin which a person is able to decide who and what to be, plays chilld major role. The mystery of this child’s identity takes several unexpected turns and says something real, raw and true about what makes a family. What happens when a white child is reared by a black mother?

Fiela’s Child by Dalene Matthee (3 star ratings)

Lily rated it liked it May 12, For nine years, Fiela raises Benjamin cihld one of her own children. This page was last edited on 4 Septemberat But when census takers discover Benjamin, they send him to an illiterate white family of woodcutters who claim Benjamin to be their son.

It’s a good-interesting story, but I am bogged down by the use of lots of Dutch words and places. She cnild them to mate so she can have more ostrich feathers from their offspring to sell. The author was more interested, I think, in exploring Benjamin’s identity crisis, unable to identify with the family he’d been told was “his” when taken to the forest; a crisis she brought to a height by the rather obvious plot device of having him fall in love with his “sister”.


Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. He learns to love the open land of the Vielas Kloof region, and to love its people as well, regardless of color.

Fiela’s Child Summary and Study Guide

Send this link to let others join your presentation: International Baccalaureate required reading for English SL class. I didn’t notice until I was finished that it was first written in Africaans and then translated by the author.

Whipped into using a ne In Africa a child wanders too far into the Knysna Forest. The book was made into a film in and starred Shaleen Surtie-Richards as Fiela.

Dalene Matthee nee Scott matriculated in and went on to study music at a conservatorium in Oudtshoorn as well as at the Holy Cross Covent in Graaff-Reinet.

Fiela’s Child – Wikipedia

Elzandi Janse van Rensburg rated it liked it Feb 02, Nine years later, two government officials, working on a census, find a white child living with a Coloured family in the mountains on the other side of the forest. There he finds himself conflicted with his identity.

What follows is Benjamin’s search for his identity and the fundamental changes affecting the white and Coloured families who claimed him. In the novel, Benjamin is in the liminal stage, and is unaware of his true identity. This book is taking me a long time to get through and I have read several others while reading this. It was a about a white orphan raised by a black family is South Africa in the late s.

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Fiela’s Child

Paperbackpages. But I had to get to the end, which is gratifying, but be warned this is a difficult story.

Comments 0 Please log in to add your comment. It’s originally an Afrikaans book Fiela se Kind ; one of the best selling Afr books. As I began cihld get into the book, it reminded me of novels by Edna Ferber or Pearl Buck in the grandeur of the language and scope of the story.

Though she is determined to fight for Benjamin, chjld has no say when they determine he fielws be removed from her care. The climax of the story unfolds a few years later when the boy forces his “mother’s” guilt to confess that he is not actually her son and he returns to Fiela and her family, whom he chooses as his own. This was a memorable portrait of the natural world of 19th-century South Africa, with its forests, elephants, ostriches, and birdsongs, already passing away under the axes and plows.

Elias comes across as an opportunist who will do anything to acquire more money. Read it in English, though. I learned quite a bit about history. Want to Read saving…. I finally finished it over Spring Break.

Delete comment or cancel. One day, their youngest fielass Lukas goes missing. Present to your audience Start remote presentation. Check out this article to learn more or contact your system administrator.

This needs to be re-read: