Tuesday, August 12, 2014

How the Water Falls by K. P. Kollenborn Takes Us Deep Into Lives Affected by Apartheid...

I am privileged to have had the opportunity to read How the Water Falls by K. P. Kollenborn, who says:

Submitting to History Allows us to Remember. Although writing can help decipher history, it's our humanity which keeps all of us striving for an improved future...

May we share her vision...

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Now Meet Your Main Characters! Don't you love it when you can see Faces!

How The Water Falls
By K. P. Kollenborn
"Water is Life. Without the Flow of Water, There Only Can Be Death..."
When you see the people that are
involved....When you look into their
eyes, what do you see?
K. P. Kollenborn has given us
the opportunity to see those
eyes...How will you respond to these
eyes that dare you to
experience what they have felt...

The Internet is full of information about South Africa, Apartheid,  Mandela, and all those various opinions about the past, the future, the now... But, for me, nothing better brings the total picture
Português: Brasília - O presidente da África d...
 for me to true understanding, is a novel based upon historical facts. This is a psychological thriller--it really couldn't have been anything else in my opinion. It is in creating characters to illustrate the "reality" of what is going on with the main characters that we truly begin to realize ...and empathize. 

Two strong women bring to you the separation issue of color... But in this case, the white female has great sympathy for those who are subjugated by the white population. Joanne is a reporter, while Lena is or was an activist, before she was banned. I don't want to say that her background story is typical, rather that it was entirely what we would have expected from the news...raped at an early age...etc... But when you actually meet Lena and see and hear her interact with others, that's when you will know the psychology of how she became the strong woman who helped to lead the way for others...

Perhaps I have come to expect that the two women would be strong of character and would take leading roles in this and other stories. In fact, I have a preference for that type of female character.

Interestingly, however, it was the main male character with whom I felt the most sympathy and empathy. Jared Borghost came from a family of military men and had himself participated in many battles...until he could no longer live with himself...

His family demanded he accept duty as his guiding light in all actions, as his older brother Hans did...
But Jared's conscience, his morality continuously led him from a mandated willingness to "do his duty" as his family and other white Afrikaners and Dutch ancestors did.

So that, in the end, he was totally alone, rejected by his family, because he was no longer willing to follow the duty assigned to him. It was interesting that later in the story, he was accused of having killed a man's son who was prepared to kill him... What had happened was that his orders to ensure no deaths of children and women was not followed. It was when he had to go try to stop the shooting that he was seen and assumed to be the murderer... How many times are people condemned for having been in the wrong place at the wrong time... But, isn't that one of the main problems when men are forced to fight for something in which they don't believe?

So it was not surprising that Jared, when Joanne asked to meet with him for his story, soon began to fall in love with her...or perhaps not in love at first, but merely was able to see that she was somebody who was willing to keep after his side of the stories that were being spread... For surely, we all need at least one friend who will listen to us, don't we?

On March 21, 1960, South African police officers opened fire on a crowd of black protesters who had surrounded a police station in Sharpeville, killing 69 people.

The Sharpeville protests began over South Africa’s pass laws, which required black South Africans to carry passbooks with them any time they traveled out of their designated home areas.

Rather than providing an excerpt from the book about the issue of passbooks, I've provided an actual result that made headlines in the NY Times... Imagine Jared, whose brother Hans has become Johannesburg's commissioner of police, as he watches scenes like the one above or others which are worse, or continuous... Jared had to face that he would never again really be a brother or a member of his family, if he opened his mouth to talk to Joanne for her newspaper...

Yet he did...

Yes, it is fiction, but readers who want to learn historically about our world's major issues, will find Kollenborn's novel a must-read. Explore each of the characters and find yourself in this book. Would you be a racist and choose sides, or would you be a White who vehemently opposed the white government leaders and police, or would you be a black child who grew up in his own country and hate what has happened to his love and freedom that was once there in his homeland? The key for me was that I could empathize with each. But in the end, I merely confirmed for myself that, I, too, would, if necessary, fight against my white family to do what was right!

Do you read fiction which also is a personal and rewarding learning experience? I'm finding that there are many writers out there that take time to research and create fiction that opens up historical books and newspapers or television news in a wholly different and exciting way. This book by K. P. Kollenborn moves deeply into the complex issues that surrounded Apartheid as well as the personal biases or prejudices that often turns out to be the bottomline reason for all wars.

Highly recommended not only as an exciting thriller, but as a wonderful illustration of this past and present world-wide issue.   And, thank you, K. P. Kollenborn for your outstanding effort to spotlight deceptions and lies in a manner needed to constantly strive to affect change.


I am fortunate to have been trained by one the top ten writing teachers in the US, the late Leonard Bishop, and author of Dare to be a Great Writer. I owe my love of writing to him.
How The Water Falls is my second novel. Although I’ve been writing since my childhood, I have a BA in history. I love studying history as much as wanting to evoke stories. I like to believe that after decades worth of introspection we have learned more wisely than something that happened yesterday, because what happened yesterday affects how we live today.

Why South Africa? I live in the Midwest and grew-up in a medium size town where cultural diversity is a bit underdeveloped. My reason is simple: I don’t want to continue to live in a conical world. Consciousness does not develop and mature by existing in a frozen pond. That’s why I love history: To learn. To question. To redeem our humanity. Submitting to a moment in time allows us to remember, or to muse even, over our society’s past. Although writing can educate as well as entertain, yet what makes art incredibly amazing, to that of paintings, photographs, and music, it transposes emotion into another form of humanity, and therefore, it is our humanity which keeps all of us striving for an improved future.

My husband and I once owned a music store, a pizza delivery business, and several internet businesses. I also have dabbled with real estate and am grateful I got the heck out right before the crash! Sadly, history tends to repeat itself in important ways. Currently my family continues to live outside of Kansas City and will always have roots tied to Kansas. Follow Blog:

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