Rating: 4.5 / 5
I borrowed this copy of BORN A CRIME by Trevor Noah from friends a good while back, and I’m sure they didn’t quite realize how long it sometimes takes me to get to a book. Of course I did drop off a whole bag full of unhauled books a couple weeks ago, so I’m not feeling too guilty. Still, I had been hearing wonderful things about this book from multiple sources so I was glad to finally be able to read it.
BORN A CRIME is Trevor Noah’s memoir about growing up in South Africa toward the end of apartheid. His story begins with the very crime of his birth as his black Xhosa mother chose to have a baby with his Swiss father, something that could have resulted in a prison sentence. Though he was able to have a relationship with his father, this could never be in public and could never be acknowledged. The color of his skin meant that he was kept locked away for much of his early life. He struggled to fit in to any given cultural group throughout his young life even after he was given the freedom to leave home.
It is always hard to review a memoir in that it is a deeply personal story, but I did love this book! I found it to be well written, interesting and highly engaging. I loved the close relationship that Trevor had with his mother, a strong and fearless woman. There are multiple struggles they face from poverty, violence and domestic abuse, but their relationship withstood all.
I found this to be very moving, dealing with heavy subjects but also including a wonderful sense of humor that created a great balance to the book. I was able to read some of the book on audio which Trevor Noah narrates himself which was wonderful as well! I definitely recommend that you pick this memoir up!
#AroundTheYearIn52Books – a book from the New York Times ‘100 Notable Books’ list for any year
#NerdReading2020 – recommended by a friend