In the 1950s, I lived under apartheid in South Africa, with a Catholic, Lebanese mother and an English father. I was one of six. I grew up playing games like hopscotch, totally oblivious to the apartheid regime. Fast forward to 1994, and I'm forty-one years old and waiting in a long queue for hours to vote for Nelson Mandela. In her lighthearted and adventurous memoir, Ellie Levinson takes readers to the small, gold-mining town of Welkom, South Africa, where she and her five siblings attend school and give up sweets for forty days every Lent, as if queuing for the loo every morning isn't enough to atone for their sins When Ellie grows up and leaves her hometown of Welkom, she becomes a teacher, falls in love with an adopted Jewish medical student, Ivan, and marries him under a chuppah. In their adventures together, they find themselves in war-torn Rhodesia and travelling across Europe in a campervan. Later, after living in London for a year, Ellie and Ivan have four children, return to the Church of Rome, where the children are all christened, and vote for Nelson Mandela in the first free election in South Africa. Join Ellie on this trip through her exciting and unusual life, follow along as she stamps her passport with the forty-two countries she's visited, and watch as she learns that life is just like a game of hopscotch, with infinite players, life-defining markers, and a hop away from the next adventure.
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