Sydney Morning Herald

Sunday Times, South Africa – September 2018

Sunday Times




Sydney Observer – August 2018

438CF4A6-4D3B-46DD-89B8-ED3F76BD672DDaily Voice, South Africa


St George Leader, Sydney

Cape Town Etc

The Cape Argus, South Africa

 By Dougie Oakes

The Southern Cross, South Africa

By Gunther Simmermacher

Besides offering a searing yet dispassionate account of life in cruel, unforgiving South Africa during Apartheid, A Darker Shade of Pale is an unforgettable love story that will bring tears to your eyes and hope to all those struggling for a better life. — Philip Berk, eight times past President of the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn.

I could not put this book down. A Darker Shade of Pale is exceptionally well-written and the prose is delightful. Beryl’s memory is amazing. Her vivid sketch of everyday life on the Cape Flats, and the honesty with which she writes are truly compelling. — Professor Jonathan Jansen, Distinguished Professor of Education, Stellenbosch University, South Africa

The book is an important contribution to the body of literature on life under apartheid because it records the personal experience of coloureds under that depraved regime. It may be a memoir, but more than that, it is a historical document. — Günther Simmermacher, Editor-in-Chief of The Southern Cross, South Africa.

front and back cover


A Darker Shade of Pale tells the story of life as a person of mixed race in apartheid South Africa.

After the National Party gained power in South Africa in 1948, the all-white government took control by legislating their policies of racial segregation under a system called apartheid.

Forced to live among the sand dunes and narrow streets of Council housing estates, through her mixed ancestry Beryl was classified as Coloured, not white enough or not black enough. This allowed the government to shape her life, where she was allowed to live, to attend school, to sit on the train, to work, and who she could marry.

Growing up in council housing estates on the Cape Flats in the 1960s and early 1970s it wasn’t until reaching high school that she discovered a richer life on the other side of the tracks for those classified as white. The stark reality of the inequality towards her skin colour made her question her ancestry and her parents’ acceptance of their classification. She was drawn to joining rallies to fight the government but at home any such discussions were strongly dismissed.

It is a remarkable story of the resilience of her parents, particularly her mother Sarah who recognised that the future for her children was through education. Sarah, faced with many challenges – the death of a young child, a husband suffering ill-health, five children to feed and to keep a roof over their head powered the way forward to increase their chances of a better life should apartheid crumble.

A Darker Shade of Pale is a moving account of Beryl’s family and community life in segregated South Africa – the injustices, humiliation and challenges and finally finding acceptance when she moved to Australia in the 1980s.

Release date: 17 April 2018

All online bookstores and selected bookstores. Details will be provided.


Light Messages Publishing, North Carolina, USA


After moving to Australia in the mid 1980s, I felt compelled to record our family history for the generations to come. My sister Frances and her family arrived here in Sydney in 1980 and the rest of us followed. We started a new family tree, in a place where we had to set down roots. A Darker Shade of Pale tells our story and that of the community I grew up in. The reader will discover the impact apartheid in South Africa had on us, the people classified of mixed race, or as the government labelled us – Coloured.