As soon as I saw Kate’s book, I knew I wanted to read it. Not just because the cover makes me remember the first time I went to visit a friend in Texas. Or that I’m captivated by how the sun looks, It was title and the blurb of how she struggled with her parents divorce and the longing for home. I felt interested that maybe someone could put to words what has been hard for me. She did.
Kate Motaung’s memoir, A Place to Land tells her story of her struggle growing up torn. From her parents divorce when she was young and all that went along with that. Two separate houses. Holidays. Friends that had married parents. To moving to Cape Town, South Africa where she met her husband and the longing for there and home in America.
Kate also tells of her mom’s battle with cancer. I had a really hard time reading parts where she longed to be with her mom, but couldn’t be because she was on the other side of the world. Her bond with her sister, Sarah during this time was fascinating to me. Through all of the stress and just complete overwhelm during that time and even after, the bond between them only strengthened.
Through all these changes, Kate’s faith remained steadfast. The way she cried out to God with each new change gave me hope. Her story gave me hope that God does hear us when we call to Him. He comforts us when things are hard and loss is heavy. God remains faithful through all things.
I learned a lot about South Africa culture while reading this book. Table Mountain sounds really cool to look at in person. Wine Gums are not anything to do with wine, but are fruit flavored gummies that taste really good. I even asked two friends about them who live in Cape Town about them and took the plunge to buy them.
Also, Sweppes isn’t ginger ale like it is in the U.S, but seems like it would be good to try. I also learned Rand is African money, tripe is the second stomach of a cow (yes, I know a really random fact, but I never knew.) and vulvuzelas are plastic horns.
I loved Kate’s writing throughout the book. It felt like I was sitting down with a friend, listening to her tell me her story while being reminded of God’s faithfulness again. That He is the giver of all things and where we find true belonging.
Some of my favorite quotes:
“When you notice that you’re getting to the last of the presents under the tree, you start to unwrap the gifts more slowly and deliberately, careful not to tear any piece of the paper-thin moment.”
“Though the Lord doesn’t always answer my prayers the way I want, He always grants the gift of His presence.”
“We’re all needy—in desperate need of grace and redemption, groaning to be clothed in our heavenly dwelling (2 Corinthians 5:1–2). We’re all living in a temporary homeless shelter, ready and waiting for something better—for a home that lasts.”
“Some people say absence makes the heart grow fonder. I say absence just plain makes the heart hurt.”
“Sometimes it just takes the right words at the right moment from the right friend to shift perspective and help the light come into view.”
If you are going through or have struggled with:
• Divorced parents
• Feeling unsettled
• Longing for more
• Dealing with cancer
• Loss of a mother (or loved one)
• Living cross-culturally
this book will bring hope and comfort. It definitely has to my heart.
Read a free chapter here.