when rain clouds gather


plot Summary

When Rain Clouds Gather is Bessie Head’s first novel. Like much of her other writing, including the short stories she was known for, the novel deals with the effects of apartheid in South Africa. Bessie Head’s writing was actually one of the first ways that many outsiders became aware of the troubling political system of apartheid. The trials and tribulations of her characters while dealing with the segregationist political system, under which blacks were systematically abused, can be seen throughout her works, including in When Rain Clouds Gather.

In the novel, the main protagonist, Makhaya Maseko, flees from the racially charged environment in South Africa to neighboring Botswana, where the story itself takes place. He was involved in a bomb plot back in South Africa, and as the political system is particularly violent towards blacks, he must flee for his life. In Botswana, he befriends Dinorego, and after a time, decides to stay in the village of Golema Mmidi. Makhaya is introduced to a British agriculturalist named Gilbert who is also staying in the village. Dinorego speaks highly of Gilbert, saying that the man is his son and a giving person.

Makhaya also learns that Gilbert has been working on a cattle cooperative for the past three years. Though the villagers are excited about the possibilities of the project, which would make them more independent, Chief Matenge is not happy with Gilbert’s work. In fact, Matenge, who is portrayed as spoiled and authoritarian, has been sent to the village specifically by his brother Sekoto to ensure that Gilbert does not cause too much trouble with his cooperative plans. From all accounts, Matenge and Gilbert are at war over the cooperative and its potential success.

One day, Makhaya is referred to Gilbert by Dinorego. While the two eat, Gilbert assesses Makhaya and finds that he does not seem interested in tribalism, and so agrees to hire him as a worker on the agricultural farm. Gilbert teaches Makhaya how to drive a tractor, and instructs him in agricultural farming. In turn, Makhaya uses his knowledge of the Tswana language to share the agricultural information with the women in Golema Mmidi.

Makhaya’s life is soon changed again when Matenge attempts to get the local police involved in the cooperative’s business. He had tried to get the village elders and others to go against Gilbert’s wishes to put up fencing so as to corral livestock, but failed in doing so. When Matenge informs his brother of this latest development, it is Sekoto who suggests bringing in the police. Makhaya, however, makes a good impression with all those he meets, including George Appleby-Smith, the police constable. The constable even agrees to support Makhaya in his efforts for the village.

Makhaya is also introduced to several other notable individuals, including Paulina Sebeso. Paulina is actually attracted to Makhaya, but he does not initially realize her infatuation. It is not until he is placed in charge of instructing the village women, when the two undertake a large-scale millet project, that Makhaya finally realizes Paulina’s feelings for him. The two become closer over a troubling event involving Paulina’s eight-year-old son. The child worked at a cattle post, but when a famine strikes and kills most of the cattle, the workers are sent home. Paulina asks a rancher, Rankoane, why her son was not sent home as well. She is informed that the child had been sent home some time ago due to a severe cough. An agitated Paulina decides to search for her son, and Makhaya accompanies her into the bush on her search. Sadly, the two find her son’s remains, and when they return to the village, have a funeral for him.

Paulina then receives word that she has offended Chief Matenge, and later finds that her offense has been that she failed to report her son’s death. While on the way to Matenge’s house, a large crowd gathers in support of Paulina, including Dinorego, Makhaya and Gilbert. As the crowd waits outside the chief’s house, George also arrives due to the commotion. Makhaya, tired of waiting, breaks down the door to find Matenge hanging from a rope. The consensus is that he was afraid of the large crowd and so hung himself. George is left to inform Sekoto of what has transpired. Though Makhaya is still plagued by images of Paulina’s deceased son, he takes comfort in the idea of starting a new life with her. He eventually proposes to Paulina, and she eagerly accepts.

The novel deals largely with the struggle between traditional tribal ways and the advances of science. Sekoto and Matenge are representative of the old system, a tribal system where people feel justified in taking advantage of those they deem as their subjects. Gilbert’s cooperative, and the hope that the villagers see in the project, represent progress and scientific advancement. Though it may seem as if scientific advancement wins out over the old ways, Bessie Head’s novel shows how a more balanced approach to the two sides is better: Tradition and older belief systems can exist alongside scientific advancements and independent thinking. The villagers who understand this are truly capable of changing. In turn, their progress is representative of a new system capable of changing apartheid and other old, oppressive systems of government.

Zeela’s statement is an accurate description of the village that is represented in the story. Gomela Mmidi is an underdeveloped village in Botswana and it is no surprise that before Makhaya and Gilbert arrived, the land was a reject, suffering under immense poverty despite being ruled by chiefs of the land. But the arrival of Makhaya and Gilbert was a result of new progress and new things for the village.


The undertone in the novel are what keep the novel well above sentimental and futile. Golema Mmidi was the sort of a village to allow traditions and cultures role to the way people ae supposed to be living. This is where woman were subjected to being treated cruelly. Men were in charge of the community. During the chapters when Makhaya arrives in the village; he describes in particular the land of Gomela Mmidi. The village was situated in the eastern part of the country; it received an annual rainfall of at least eighteen inches. But with opportunity and the overpopulation due to overgrazing, the land deteriorated.


But there was another fascinating growth taking place with regards of the carrot- seed plants. It further enhanced Gilbert to want to save the land. He then consulted Chief Mantege with his plans. It seemed he was pleased with the way things were going. So Chief Mantege allowed or gave him permission to continue with what he was about to start. But later on the evil side of him showed in which he thought of his reputation as the chief of the village and so this was the time where he tried to stop Gilbert. But the presence of Makhaya changed everything.


The catcher in the rye

The catcher in the rye

In the analysis of the novel we have come to identify countless times that Holden is introduced as a reckless and rebellious character. He seems to be further used by the language and style of the novel. Humour is also thrown in. Holden’s suicidal thoughts make him depressed. He even goes to goggle at woman despite the fact that he was dating Sally and was about to go out on a date with her. His breakdown makes him bitter and thoughtless. He is seen as seem one who is untrustworthy. He doesn’t seem to quite know who he really is. That makes him unreliable. But what really makes him unreliable?

Holden’s anxiety with regards to death and loss makes him emotional and without an ability to really fathom any goodness in life. He irrationally starts to see other things as troubled and worthy of critics. It is many cases where he wills suddenly starts criticizing anything and everything around him. This includes the actual existence of society and its racial and prejudicial actions. Although some of his critics seem to show a bit of logic and sense, he allows its senses to get to him. It changes the way he is supposed to be behaving because he suddenly starts to treat other people with pure hostility and pure hate.

What is on his mind is furthered by his actions around other people. People like Sally whom he proves to be uncanny and faithful towards are something that is somewhat unreliable from him. It is caused somehow by his unwillingness to fall. His difference from the world makes him to see everything as fake and pretentious so in his mind, Holden thinks it is good to give what the world had asked for. So his inner anger and pain makes him act and speak anyway.
For example, in one scene he seems to be acting towards a prostitute that is about to enter his apartment when he suddenly seems fall while dressing up. This sort of tells of who he really is. His anxiety has caused his falling. And so this falling has a symbol towards life and falling in life. That is what he most detests the most, the fate and the action of falling. Running away from all of this makes him detached from his life back at home and caused an emotional breakdown that makes him act a certain way.

October’s Book Two From The Heart

From the #1 bestselling author of Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas and Sundays at Tiffany’s, two heartwarming tales about the power of a good story to open our eyes to life’s possibilities.


woman wearing brown shirt carrying black leather bag on front of library books
Photo by Abby Chung on Pexels.com

Anne McWilliams has lost everything. After her marriage falls apart and a hurricane destroys her home she realizes that her life has fallen out of focus. So she takes to the road to ask long lost friends and strangers a simple question: “What’s your best story?” Can the funny, tragic, inspirational tales she hears on her journey help Anne see what she’s been missing?

Tyler Bron seemingly has it all—a successful company and more money than he knows how to spend. But he has no life. So he hires a struggling novelist to write one for him. There are no limits to the fictional world that Bron’s money can transform into a reality, and he soon becomes the protagonist of a love story beyond his wildest imagination. But will Tyler Bron be able to write the happy ending himself?


So if you love dark real and true love, why don’t you try this book?

Septembers Book: The art of not breathing

I have decided to start a reading monthly blog where I read one new book and then blog about it.

adult blur books close up
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

One minute Eddie was there. And the next he was gone.

Five years on, and it’s Elsie who’s lost. All she knows is the pain she feels. Pain that her twin Eddie’s body has never been found after that day on the beach.

Then she meets Tay; confident, cool and addicted to free-diving. He says it’s too dangerous for her to join; it’s too dark, too scary, too deep. But what does he know?

He doesn’t know that being underwater is the only time Elsie doesn’t ache for her brother. That diving gives her flashbacks. And that uncovering the secrets of that day is the only way for Elsie to start breathing again.


If you like dark memory and a bit of teenage mystery then this is the book for you.

All about Meredith Jagger


Meredith is a USA Today Bestselling Author. She is a native of the San Francisco Bay Area, where she was raised by a Swiss father and an American mother. She is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Her own engagement ring, which is an heirloom from 1903, inspired her to write her debut novel The Dressmaker’s Dowry. She wrote it on weekends while working for a San Francisco startup.

Meredith finds the immigrant experience a rich part of the fabric of American history. Her second novel Boardwalk Summer has been called “a compelling story that channels both the glamour and big dreams of old Hollywood with the charm and thrills of Santa Cruz’s boardwalk.” (Elise Hooper, author of The Other Alcott). Meredith lives outside San Francisco with her husband, their feisty toddler and spoiled English bulldog, where she now writes full time.

The Dressmaker’s Dowry

The dressmaker’s Dowry

For readers of Lucinda Riley, Sarah Jio, or Susan Meissner, this gripping historical debut novel tells the story of two women: one, an immigrant seamstress who disappears from San Francisco’s gritty streets in 1876, and the other, a young woman in present day who must delve into the secrets of her husband’s wealthy family only to discover that she and the missing dressmaker might be connected in unexpected ways.

An exquisite ring, passed down through generations, connects two women who learn that love is a choice, and forgiveness is the key to freedom…

San Francisco: 1876

Immigrant dressmakers Hannelore Schaeffer and Margaret O’Brien struggle to provide food for their siblings, while mending delicate clothing for the city’s most affluent ladies. When wealthy Lucas Havensworth enters the shop, Hanna’s future is altered forever. With Margaret’s encouragement and the power of a borrowed green dress, Hanna dares to see herself as worthy of him. Then Margaret disappears, and Hanna turns to Lucas. Braving the gritty streets of the Barbary Coast and daring to enter the mansions of Nob Hill, Hanna stumbles upon Margaret’s fate, forcing her to make a devastating decision…one that will echo through the generations.

San Francisco: Present Day

In her elegant Marina apartment overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge, Sarah Havensworth struggles to complete the novel she quit her job for. Afraid to tell her husband of her writer’s block, Sarah is also hiding a darker secret — one that has haunted her for 14 years. Then a news headline from 1876 sparks inspiration: Missing Dressmakers Believed to be Murdered. Compelled to discover what happened to Hannelore and Margaret, Sarah returns to her roots as a journalist. Will her beautiful heirloom engagement ring uncover a connection to Hanna Schaeffer?

Book Blogging


books on bookshelves
Shelved books

Book Blogger By Sammy Mseleku

A review of one of my most all time favourite books I have ever read. One of them is Storm and Silence.

What is  Storm and Silence? This is a Victorian aged novel which is based on the love of a suffragist and chauvinist joined together. Lily lives in London In London there is the most selfish and most bratty bachelor of them all. Mr Rikkard Ambrose. Lily Linton finds herself at a dead end when she finds herself having to work for the eligible bachelor dresses as a guy. He knows of course that she is a girl. This is what I like about Rob Thier!!! He is able to put a challenge. This was a book I had discovered on wattpad. The energy found in his book is exhilarating, everyone is literally on cloud nine with this amazing book. It has that old money and the history of the victorian ages. If you did not know the victorian ages like me! This is a go to for people who love anything and everything about the olden times, thriving in almost anything about the Victorian ages.

I honestly had no idea whatsoever about the Victorian ages until I read this book. Storm and Silence actually is a series. Rob Thier wrote six books pertaining to Lily and Rickards love.

One of the most cherished moments of the series is the saying

‘Knowledge is power is time is money’

Rikkard is the most richest, wealthiest eligible bachelor of all times. He is well… the most handsome as well. During the series,you can just feel the love that these people have for each other. At first, Lily falls for him  but Rikkard kills her with his cold silence and fierce looks. Lily is not the one to give up though. This book sounded off like a love-hate relationship, constant bickering and cold communications. This sort of makes and keeps the reader interested in the way

As soon as I read the first paragraphs of Storm and Silence, the description of Mr Ambrose got me panting afterwards.

Hard. That was what he looked like. That was the first thing you noticed: hard chiseled face like that of some kind of Greek statue.

That was the part that literally set me off. The description of this man, is one point, straight to the point and REAL.


Because of that Rikkard is real in my heart!



The cool atmosphere throughout the book as they travel in and out dark places like Egypt, Brazil, the Amazon forest, Argentina and then Scotland. All this time, Rikkard tries to hide his love for her, but you know as a reader you sometimes doubt if he loved Lily. Rob is good at making you question their love. Hot intense love moments are experienced in the end when in Silence Breaking, they tell each other, they love each other. I got immense butterflies!




This is the order in which the books have been written… enjoy!







The art of not breathing

By Sarah Alexander

Since her twin brother, Eddie, drowned five years ago, sixteen-year-old Elsie Main has tried to remember what really happened that fateful day on the beach. One minute Eddie was there, and the next he was gone. Seventeen-year-old Tay McKenzie is a cute and mysterious boy that Elsie meets in her favorite boathouse hangout. When Tay introduces Elsie to the world of freediving, she vows to find the answers she seeks at the bottom of the sea.

This book has an element of grief mixed with doing something about it. So many of us today grieve through hate and then resentment. Little Else finds it upon her to figure out how Eddie disappeared.


At the end of the book, the author is asked what was the hardest part bout writing the book:

Tay has this confession about Elsie in the boathouse and how he physically hurts her. Elsie is completely overwhelmed but she fights through it.

I agree too, that part made me squirm a little. I loved reading these books and if you want to read them, head on over! You won’t regret it.