Island Lake with blades of green grass in the front on a nice sunny day

One Book One County title revealed for 2018

The long wait is over for the book lovers of Dufferin County. The Chief Librarians of Grand Valley, Shelburne and Orangeville Public Libraries, along with BookLore, announced the title for this year’s One Book One County program.

“Hum If You Don’t Know The Words” is this year’s selected title, by Bianca Marais. The book is lauded as impressive, emotional and powerful.

Life under apartheid has created a secure future for Robin Conrad, a nine-year-old white girl living with her parents in 1970’s Johannesburg. In the same nation but worlds apart, Beauty Mbali, a Xhosa woman in a rural village, struggles to raise her children alone. The two are brought together by the Soweto Uprising, a protest by black students that ignites racial conflict and leaves Robin’s parents dead and Beauty’s daughter missing. In the aftermath, Beauty is hired to care for Robin and the two forge an inextricable bond through their deep personal losses. But Robin knows that if Beauty reunites with her daughter, Robin could lose her new caregiver forever, so she makes a desperate decision with devastating consequences.

Originally from South Africa, Bianca Marais now lives in Toronto with her husband. Before turning to writing, she started a corporate training committee and volunteered with Cotlands, where she assisted care workers in Soweto with providing aid for HIV/AIDS orphans. Bianca holds a Certificate in Creative Writing from the University of Toronto.

Now in its tenth year, One Book One County Dufferin allows all residents of Dufferin to read together in a gigantic book club. The program promotes Canadian literature, reading and discussion by encouraging everyone to participate in book clubs, online chats, and activities related to the theme of the selected Canadian title.

The grand finale of One Book One County, featuring Bianca Marais, will take place at  Grand Spirits Distillery, 27 Main Street North, Grand Valley on September 13, at 6 p.m. Tickets will be $45 for dinner and presentation and are available from BookLore, and the Shelburne, Orangeville and Grand Valley Public Libraries.