Swimming on the Lawn

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Yasmin Hamid,  Swimming on the Lawn,  Fremantle Press, 31 July 2017,  176pp.,  $16.99 (pbk),  ISBN 9781925164855

Farida is the daughter of an English mother and a Sudanese father. She and her siblings live a happy and relatively affluent life in Khartoum during the 1960s, until a military coup changes their lives forever.

Each chapter describes a happy event. They have a picnic, they watch a man newly cover their mattresses, the house is painted, they experience a sandstorm, the mother of a friend, Nadia, has a baby.

The author has the same parentage as the small heroine of the novel, and now lives in Western Australia. Her book is written with simplicity and would be a way to encourage readers to empathise with their Sudanese friends. Anywhere in the world what happens to Farida’s family is a part of life. A happy child is loved and cared for, as these children are. What happens next is not predictable.

Teaching Notes can be found on the Fremantle Press website.

Reviewed by Stella Lees

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