Thursday, August 19, 2010

Kathi Macias's No Greater Love ~ Reviewed

No Greater Love
By Kathi Macias
Published by New Hope Publishers
ISBN# 978-1-59669-277-0
315 Pages

Back Cover:

Forbidden romance, an unlikely martyr and an even more unlikely hero. Orphaned four years earlier when their parents, active in the African National Congress (ANC) movement against apartheid, were murdered—16-year-old Chioma and her 15-year-old brother Masozi now live and work on an Afrikaner family’s farm. When Chioma and Andrew, the farm owner’s son, find themselves attracted to one another, tragedy revisits their lives. Chioma escapes to join an ANC rebel band in her effort to survive and gain revenge for her family and culture. When cultures clash in life-or-death struggles, Chioma must choose between violence and revenge—or forgiveness and selfless love.

Loosely based on historical events and set near Pretoria, South Africa, in the violent upheaval prior to ANC leader Nelson Mandela’s release from prison in 1990 and his ascendance to the presidency of South Africa, this story of forbidden romance produces an unlikely martyr who is replaced by one even more unlikely.


I’m so thankful to have received a review copy of this most electrifying, moving historical novel by Kathi Macias. I was hooked from the very first line “1989 was not a good year to fall in love-at least not in South Africa, and certainly not with a white man.”

This author had my attention and kept it until the very end. I’m not a history buff and appreciated the fact that Kathi Macias showed the affect of the Apartheid from both a white and black perspective. I was clueless about the political system that governed South Africa from 1948-1994. The author says “Apartheid was a tragedy of humanity, a mockery of divinity, a fallacy of purity—in black and white. It was a subjugation of the majority at the hands of the minority.”

This author does an amazing job of developing multifaceted characters and situations that are so believable. I cared, and stayed up late reading to find out their fate. Chioma, 16-yr-old orphan, along with her brother, Masozi, worked on a farm as slaves. Trouble-seeking men disturb Chioma and Masozi as they are resting at the side of the road, before making the trek home to the farm. Andrew, the farm owner’s son, stops to see what’s up. That’s when all heck breaks loose. No one expected trouble. But, the ANC rebel band will not stop their taunting until they have had their fun.

Andrew’s dad preaches every week and is a strong supporter of the Apartheid. Andrew doesn’t believe in the Apartheid. How could he when the bible teaches that God loves us ALL? God doesn’t pick a favorite and say that He only loves them. No, the bible says, “He loves us ALL, and died for everyone, in order to have everlasting life.” There’s the rub. Didn’t his father see that? He couldn’t preach love on Sunday and enforce the Apartheid the rest of the week. Andrew couldn’t live like this. God was moving in his heart and opening his eyes.

Chioma has to decide if she believes the white man’s God. How could she when she watched her mother and father die at the hands of white men? She had to stay strong for the cause - it’s her only hope. Then after an unexpected uprising where Andrew, a white man who came to her and her brothers side, Chioma begins to look at life a little different.

This was one powerful story that showed the situation from both sides and had the characters come to the realization something had to change. They couldn’t do life as usual anymore. They were tired and had had enough! But how could one person change the world and what would that look like? It was scary. It was almost more comfortable for Chioma to not make waves. But the feelings they had inside where killing both Chioma and Andrew. They started to look at change in a whole new light. The Light of Jesus! He is the Light of the world. This is the first book in the Extreme Devotion Series. I can’t wait to read the next book, More than Conquerors, and you won't either!

Reviewed by: Nora St.Laurent
The Book Club Network

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