Download Philida Audiobook

Philida Audiobook, by Andre Brink Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Andre Brink Narrator: Carla Mercer-Meyer Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2013 ISBN: 9781452681283
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (295 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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This is what it is to be a slave: that everything is decided for you from out there. You just got to listen and do as they tell you. You don't say no. You don't ask questions. You just do what they tell you. But far at the back of your head you think: Soon there must come a day when I can say for myself: This and that I shall do, this and that I shall not.

André Brink—"one of South Africa's greatest novelists" (the Telegraph)—gives us his most powerful novel yet; the truly unforgettable story of a female slave, and her fierce determination to survive and to be free. It is 1832 in South Africa, the year before slavery is abolished and the slaves are emancipated. Philida is the mother of four children by Francois Brink, the son of her master. When Francois's father orders him to marry a woman from a prominent Cape Town family, Francois reneges on his promise to give Philida her freedom, threatening instead to sell her to new owners in the harsh country up north.
Here is the remarkable story—based on individuals connected to the author's family—of a fiercely independent woman who will settle for nothing and for no one. Unwilling to accept the future that lies ahead of her, Philida continues to test the limits and lodges a complaint against the Brink family. Then she sets off on a journey—from the southernmost reaches of the Cape, across a great wilderness, to the far north of the country—in order to reclaim her soul.
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Quotes & Awards

  • [Philida] traces the lacerating trajectory of the sins of parents, parents scars like open wounds on their children's bodies. There is an astonishing frankness about the facts of life and a visionary lyricism in relation to these cruel facts. The 'Acknowledgements' section details the genesis of the novel. In its way, it is as thrilling as the book itself. Extraordinary. Kirkus Starred Review

Listener Reviews

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  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jonathan | 2/17/2014

    " I'd give this 3.5 stars. There was some beautiful characterization. And I appreciated the whole concept of the book, which is a fictional slave narrative of a strong-willed enslaved woman living in the Cape Colony in the 19th century. This book falters in the execution, though. The writing is uneven and the plot loses steam midway through. I know that Brink is capable of better, from "A Dry White Season." "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Leslie | 2/10/2014

    " Amazing book set in S. Africa 1830's from viewpoint of a slave and "baas". "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Regina | 1/28/2014

    " Enjoyed this book about a young female slave in S. Africa in the 1830's before liberation. Deals with an area of history that I know little about and is very honest in its depiction of the cruelties the slaves were subjected to. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Louise | 1/12/2014

    " Story of a slave in South Africa in 18th Century. Tough at times but human to the core. Andre Brink is a great story teller and I found this memorable, compelling and totally honest. Read it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 1/8/2014

    " "Here come shit." Philida's first words in the novel, and I was in love with her character. I was concerned for a brief chunk in the first section that I was dealing with a novel with no greater message than "Slavery is bad." (Thanks for the news flash.) But Philida's strong voice and character development saved it from that. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carol | 12/28/2013

    " South African slavery in the Cape Colony long before and a bit after the Emancipation Decree (1800s). This is the story of Philida, and her life and journey as a slave. The dialect might be tricky at first, but settle in with this book. A great story. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kim | 12/28/2013

    " Philida confused me. I didn't understand how Ouma Nella was the mother of Cornelis but also once a slave. Was she black? If so, that meant Cornelis was part black also, right? I never got the sense he identified in any way as a "coloured" man, but maybe I misinterpreted Ouma Nella's relationship with the family. Brink tended to romanticize the relationship between Philida and Frans in a way that, while interesting to read, was also frustrating for me as a black woman. I certainly believe the relationships between black slave women and white men was a complex one and Brink, to his credit, tried to explore some of that complexity, but it was overshadowed by the romance of it all. I was moved by Philida's quest for shoes and what having shoes meant to her in terms of her freedom. There were just too many instances where this book veered off track and I lost interest. The long religious discussions, the pages of detail about the landscapes and the items auctioned off at the Brink home, and even descriptions of Philida's cat just dragged on and on. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carla | 12/20/2013

    " A sad tale, but a brilliant portrayal of the spirit of the south African people and the intricacies of their lives and the coplicated interwtwined relationships of land, people, and slavery and ownership. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 James | 12/3/2013

    " A beautiful and heartbreaking story of one woman's desire to find out what it really means to be truly free. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kate | 7/7/2013

    " A bit hard to read due to the use of quite a few Afrikaans words (I did a lot of googling), but an interesting story about a time and situation about which I knew nothing going into it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sean | 7/5/2013

    " Not as inspiring as 'Praying Mantis' or 'A Dry White Season'. Brink seems to stick to a similar theme throughout many of his works: The battle for emancipation and the struggle of the non-white in the Cape. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Barbara | 6/8/2013

    " This story, set in 1830s Africa, is based on experiences of the author's slave ancestors. It was slow to start -- the description of the main character pleading her case before the white magistrate was sluggish -- but after that the story progressed and made more sense. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Julie | 4/11/2013

    " Just couldn't get into this. The violence and treatment of the people was daunting to me. "

About the Narrator

Carla Mercer-Meyer, a Southern California native, has a strong musical theater background, as she has been performing her entire life. Her credits include a guest appearance on The Morris Taylor Show, and her performances include Into the Woods and You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, as well as many other theatrical productions. An AudioFile Earphones Award–winning audiobook narrator, Mercer-Meyer resides in Southern California with her husband and four children. She is an avid audiobook listener and a book fanatic.