Book Review: Maru by Bessie Head

Book Review: Maru by Bessie Head

Nthepa Segage

Heinemann, African Writers Series

Date published: 1971

Maru photo

Margaret Cadmore is orphaned when her mother dies after giving birth. A white, British woman, a wife of a missionary and a teacher takes her home and raises her. The woman, Margaret Cadmore, who names the child after her takes the child as an experiment and their relationship is not that of mother and child, although there are the occasional bed-time stories and kisses. She grows up without being spared by other children a reminder of her being a Bushman. These remarks are rooted in the belief that Bushmen are lower than animals and should be treated accordingly, this includes actions such as spitting at her.

Seventeen years later, at the end of her teacher’s experiment, they part ways as the senior retires to England. The young girl gets a teaching post in a village called Dilepe. This new journey brings with it…

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