Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Good Morning, Mr Mandela by Zelda le Grange

5 Star

Good Morning, Mr Mandela tells the extraordinary story of how a young woman had her life, beliefs, prejudices and everything she once believed in utterly transformed by the greatest man of her time. It is the incredible journey of an awkward, terrified young typist in her twenties later chosen to become the President's most loyal and devoted servants, spending most of her adult working life travelling with, supporting and caring for the man she would come to call 'Khulu', or 'grandfather'.

Here Zelda pays tribute to Nelson Mandela as she knew him - a teacher who gave her the most valuable lessons of her life. A man who refused to be defined by his past, who forgave and respected all, but who was also frank, teasing and direct. As he renewed his country, he also freed Zelda from a closed world of fear and mistrust, giving her life true meaning. Now she shares his lasting and inspiring gifts with the world.

Kathryn - 5 Star

I jumped at the chance to read this autobiography. Like most people in the world I believe that Nelson Mandela is a man whose presence will never be lost and I was intrigued and excited to read about him through someone else’s eyes, someone who spent so much time with him. I really wasn’t sure what to expect when I opened Good Morning, Mr Mandela and I was quick to realise that Zelda la Grange loved her employer with as much admiration as anyone else in the world.  Her entire youth was dedicated to ensuring that he was taken care of and that his needs were met from an administrative point of view as well as his family’s personal needs- from organising meetings with heads of state to ensuring transfers were made for his personal banking. 

I found some aspects of her autobiography fascinating and others a bit slow.  Sometimes we got a bit too much detail about their travel and movements but in the end I understood her purpose behind what appeared to be occasionally mundane anecdotes. I think the length of her thought process needed to be there to give us the sense of her long standing relationship with Mandiba and her full commitment to him.

I was touched with her moments and connections with Mr Mandela’s wife Mrs Machel as they obviously appreciated each other’s interest in him and realised that they were both of the utmost importance to his life staying on track.  Mr Mandela’s gentle firmness and insight is clearly expressed through Zelda la Grange’s memoirs and I gained a sense of the man through her writing of this book.  I cried a number of times reading about his last year of life, the turmoil of his family struggling with each other for standing and power over him, his business and his finances.  The last couple of chapters were particularly hard to read- the confusion and chaos around his funeral came as such a disappointment for a man who made his entire life about broaching peace and communication.

Good Morning Mr Mandela is an honest and poignant account of someone close to Mr Mandela for the last quarter of his life and I gained a lot of peace in reading it.

Thank you to Penguin Group for our review copy. All opinions are our own.

Connect with Zelda la Grange:
Website      Facebook      Twitter      Goodreads

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...