Can You Judge a Book By Its Cover?

Can You Judge a Book By Its Cover?  

Everyone has remarked on the evocative cover of Whitewashed Jacarandas. It draws one in.

Inside it’s had a great reception too, judging from Amazon Reviews and the book fairs, readings and signings I’ve attended since it launched and rocketed to #2 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases.

I coerced Lynette Hirschowitz (nee Sampson) into doing the artwork for me. We grew up together where she starred as our prima ballerina in the annual pantomime my mother produced. Lynette was good at everything: top of the class, a great spring board diver and was as pretty as could be.

Nothing’s changed.

After dancing through University of Cape Town with a degree in Fine Art in 1969 she did a soubresaut to the center of the universe (London) but didn’t continue seriously with ballet although she still went to classes until she hit 40!!! Instead she sensibly followed her artistic talents working first as an art therapist before teaching art. For some years now she has been painting full time and exhibiting locally.

Lynette has always looked back on her formative years in Que Que with nostalgia and some gratitude. She never felt deprived in anyway growing up in the middle of the bush. Instead it infused her with a love of nature and a great sense of purpose in life. For her as an artist the colors of the landscape, flora and fauna are etched in her psyche and have always informed her painting.

Although influenced by these vibrant colors of her roots, her main interest is in painting still life which has been a hazard in her household as many a painstakingly arranged composition has had pieces vanish, been consumed entirely, or surreptitiously nibbled at and returned to the wrong position.

Fortunately for the book cover she worked safely from black and white photographs I sent her from those nostalgic times when the New Government Hospital in Que Que was new.

She perfectly captured the moment. “Knowing when to quit is the hardest thing to do. One more layer can ruin a painting!” Lynette advised me. Point taken.


My blog site has a brand new wonderful look thanks to my son Andrew Davis, whose also been busy launching Town Inc. Grow Your Business, Save Your Town, Leave your Legacy which just hit #1 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases. Look inside and check it out.  For those of you who know him, he is a chip off his maternal grandfather ever thinking outside the box with fresh innovative solutions to problems.

Let me know how you like the new layout on the blog. Posting a review on Whitewashed Jacarandas on Amazon greatly helps my ratings. Share the book and spread the word. We’ve all waited so long for this.


  • molly mcmahon

    Reply Reply May 6, 2016

    I just finished your book. It was wonderful! I started it when I first bought it at OCLC. I LOVE IT and was impressed with the charm of the story and the place. But, I had to quit due to my need to get some housework done. I stopped reading although reading is very important to me but I was punishing myself for being so unwilling to keep up the house. Anyway, after seeing you at Bay House, I saw the book in my book pile and started again and could not stop. Are you working on the second book? I really want to know what happens to Sunny, Mauvreen and their children… and the town. Please, write more! I plan to buy more books to give away to my family. Thanks, Molly

    • Molly,

      OCLI’s year end dinner at the Bayhouse was a treat, lovely sitting with you and your husband. I am so glad you were captivated by the story of Whitewashed Jacarandas. Yes, I’m hard at work on The Flamboyant Years, book two of the quartet. Busy summer ahead of book clubs, signing events and the re-write…

  • Dora Dunkley

    Reply Reply May 21, 2016

    I finished reading your book and am astounded at all the info and research you must have taken to publish it. I was really fascinated at all the detail you assembled. I enjoyed the book so much and it was very enlightening, so want to know if you have published another and what is it’s title?

    • Diana Polisensky

      Reply Reply May 25, 2016

      Yes, the book voyage has been a long and engrossing one of discovery–of myself, my family and my country.
      Book II, The Flamboyant Years, (1947-53) will come out in November.

  • Lois Jean Bousquet

    Reply Reply January 5, 2017

    I loved this book! Your tale of post WWII British Colonial Rhodesia captured me immediately and kept me to the very end. Historical fiction is best when you can feel – and feel for – the characters, the settings, the life. Whitewashed Jacarandas does it with well-drawn characters, exquisite scenery, impeccable research and a great story. I was transported to Dr. Sunny and Mavoureen’s life in Umzimtuti and want to return. I’m looking forward to the next installment in the Umzimtuti Series.

    • Diana Polisensky

      Reply Reply January 30, 2017

      Lois Jean, Thanks so much for the great review. Working hard to neaten up The Flamboyant Years.

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