'This is the sweet memory of Mme, my dear mother. The first sweet memory ...Sometimes her laughter bursts into my head or I hear her call me - my name full and round in her mouth. Frustratingly though, as with all the memories I have of Mme, her face always blurs under the pressure of my focus.'Celia Mphephu works as a maid for Mr and Mrs Steiner in a leafy, white man's suburb of 1960s Johannesburg. When racial tensions in the country reach fever pitch and the Steiners plan to relocate to England, they offer to adopt Celia's young daughter Miriam and raise her as their own. But Miriam finds England to be very different to the place the Steiners have told her about. And so begins her long journey through the years, back to South Africa, to find her mother and herself. Set against the violent backdrop of apartheid South Africa and then the calm of late twentieth century Britain, Shifting Colours traces the lives of a mother and daughter separated by land, sea and heart-rending circumstance.
Growing up in a publisher's home in South Africa, Fiona Sussman fell in love with language and the written word at an early age. Her family's house was always filled with manuscripts, books and colourful authors. This was during the apartheid era, and witnessing the brutal regime at work sensitised Fiona to the issues of injustice and racial prejudice. The illness and untimely death of her father led her to pursue a career in medicine and work as a GP. She emigrated from South Africa to New Zealand in 1989 where she still lives with her family, juggling her time between writing and running the charity hospital she and her husband established.Follow her on Twitter: FionaSussman Author's Website: www.fionasussman.co.nz