Written from the points-of-view of four young people living in Johannesburg and its black township, SowetoZanele, a black female student organizer, Meena, of South Asian background working at her fathers shop, Jack, an Oxford-bound white student, and Thabo, a teen gang-member or tsotsithis book explores the roots of the Soweto Uprising and the edifice of Apartheid in a South Africa about to explode. In the black township of Soweto, Zanele, who also works as a nightclub singer, is plotting against the apartheid government. The police cant know. Her mother and sister cant know. No one can know. On the affluent white side of town, Jack Craven plans to spend the last days of his break before university burning miles on his beat up Mustang, and crashing other peoples parties. Already a chain of events are in motion; a failed plot, a murdered teacher, a powerful police agent with a vendetta, and a secret network of students across the township.
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Zanele, a black student, is secretly plotting against the government. With most of their political leaders already in jail or in exile, they are also fully engaged with an uncompromising adult world: as the story opens, Zanele is planning to bring down power line towers with dynamite supplied by the armed wing of the African National Congress in Mozambique. Through Meena, we are introduced to the shadowy figure of Coetzee, a brutal Special Branch officer. The murder of a teacher who continued to teach math in Afrikaans despite student threats sets events racing to their inevitable conclusion. I lost Vusi as he ran ahead to find out if it was true. Police throw tear gas, and students retaliate by throwing rocks at a police dog. A policeman fires his gun.
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In her powerful debut novel, 'When Morning Comes', Arushi Raina brings alive the social, political and interpersonal turmoil of the Soweto Uprising in South Africa. Long before the era of the internet and smartphones, the rally took months of clandestine planning. Lives and allegiances were tested, the police raided gatherings of black people, opening fire on them as they demanded the repeal of Afrikaans-only school curricula, and people disappeared without a trace. In her powerful debut novel, When Morning Comes, Arushi Raina brings alive the social, political and interpersonal turmoil of the Soweto Uprising. The momentum keeps the reader on tenterhooks, the arc of the plot shifting with almost every page.