Book Review – Soul River by Nava Naidoo

Book Review – Soul River by Nava Naidoo

South African author, Nava Naidoo gifted me her first book, Soul River, and I am even more inspired to read, to write and to share my love of books! Here are my thoughts on her book.


Book & Glasses

“Life was minimalistic. We used kerosene lamps, also collected rainwater in drums that were strategically placed under the roof gutters; sustainable living that taught us to value every precious resource at our disposal.

Soul River is an autobiography that takes you on the roller coaster of life of an ordinary woman. The book navigates through the life of Nava Naidoo from her childhood and upbringing in Mariannhill, to her married life, motherhood and beyond. As a child, Nava was inspired by her Appa and Amma (dad and mum), who instilled the value of family and community, love and togetherness.

Open Book & Glasses

I enjoyed reading about Nava’s life experiences, intricately penned and relatable to a South African Indian reader. She touches on the importance of relationships and friendships throughout her life, and the stories told by her Appa. Her writing style is warm and inviting and ropes you into her storytelling which is wonderful.


One of my favourite paragraphs comes in Chapter Thirteen – Ballroom Dancing, where Nava tells of her exhilarating experience on a night out with her husband inspired them to take up formal dance lessons which would later become their own dance school. “A spark was ignited in us and we knew what we had to do. We learnt very early in our lives that life was about priorities.”


Reading Soul River made me feel like I was listening to my mum or one of my Mosi’s tell me a story. It reminded me of sharing those special moments with my family, especially the elders – nostalgic and heart-warming!


Nava Naidoo Soul River

Find out more about Soul River by Nava Nadioo in her interview with CII Radio.

Hello Yeshi

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