An Imperfect Blessing
It is 1993. South Africa is on the brink of total transformation and in Walmer Estate, a busy 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 a part of what she knows to be history in the making. As her revolutionary aspirations strengthen in the months before the elections, her intense, radical Uncle Waleed reappears, forcing her parents and sister Nasreen to confront his subversive and dangerous past.
Nadia David’s 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 manic 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
"In An Imperfect Blessing, a novel that is sharp in its insights yet warm in feeling, Nadia Davids gives us the tumultuous years between the end of white rule in South Africa and the Mandela presidency as seen through the eyes of a family from a Muslim community that is itself coming under pressure to adapt and evolve."
- JM Coetzee author of The Childhood of Jesus
"A poignant evocation of Cape Town in the last of the apartheid years. With subtlety, compassion, and a brilliant blending of the personal and political, Davids's debut novel traces the lives of a family shaken by the complexities of the struggle."
- Zoe Wicomb author of October
“An Imperfect Blessing is a beautiful novel, which has been praised from various corners for its sharp insights, subtlety, humour and compassion”
- Cape Times