It is 1993. South Africa is on the brink of total transformation and in Walmer Estate, a busy on suburb on the slopes of Devil’s Peak, fourteen-year-old Alia Dawood is about to undergo a transformation of her own. She watches with fascination and fear as the national drama unfolds, longing to be part of what she knows to be history in the making. As her revolutionary aspirations strengthen in the months before the election, her intense, radical Uncle Waleed reappears, forcing her parents and sister Nasreen to confront his subversive and dangerous past.
Nadia Davids’ first novel moves across generations and communities, through the suburbs to the city centre, from the lush gardens of private schools to the dingy bars of Observatory, from landmark mosques and churches to the maniac procession of the Cape Carnival, through evictions, rebellions, political assassinations and first loves. The book places one family’s story at the heart of a country’s rebirth and interrogates issues of faith, race, belonging, and freedom.
An Imperfect Blessing is a vibrant, funny, and moving debut.