Shine a Light gave me goosebumps. I couldn’t put it down and almost wish I’d read it more slowly and savoured it more. Everybody in South Africa should read this book.
Shine A Light is a work of non-fiction in the true-life drama subgenre. It is suitable for the general reading audience and was penned by author Corrine Wilson. The book tells the true story of Corrine and Ingrid, who sit on either side of the dark history of South Africa. However, during an expedition to rescue vulnerable animals in Cape Town, they slowly learn about each other and realize their similarities. As they meet the animals who need their help and the humans behind them, Ingrid helps Corrine confront her preconceptions about the world and the harsh realities faced by the people living in it.
I’m always in awe of autobiographical writers who are able to bare their souls so deeply and so openly that the ensuing written work they create becomes an unmissable and thought-provoking journey into an experience I couldn’t imagine sharing any other way. Such a writer is Corrine Wilson, who vividly relives an important formative experience from her own life in which her perspective is challenged repeatedly through her relationship with Ingrid and interactions with the people that society usually ignores. There’s an important message in Corrine’s journey that she explores beautifully throughout Shine A Light, a message of unity and looking past the things that divide us to identify what makes us all one species. It’s only through recognizing that humans can celebrate their cultural differences whilst remembering that we are all one people that we can begin the work of making life better for all, and Corrine Wilson’s writing is a furthering of that goal.
5 Star Review
Hi, love, I just finished your book! It was REALLY good, you should be very proud.
Beautifully written, wonderful, didn’t want to put it down! This book is deeply moving and written with so much empathy. The people, animals and deeds will remain in your thoughts long after you finish reading, in fact you will wish for more! You will come away feeling a little changed.
I just want to say that I read your book and am so impressed. It is very well written and really insightful into the lives of those living in Ocean View – makes one think. As a result of this, I now make a monthly payment to 1 Kennel at a time, and hopefully, your book inspires others to do the same.
Read your book in two sittings and found myself slowing down as the pages where dwindling … just lived and loved every page! A very valuable insight into the lives of so many people in our land, wow!
I have just finished Shine a Light. I cried, I laughed and cried some more. It’s been awhile since a book has brought on such emotion.
Such a good book, that gives a real insight into the challenges of having dogs in a community that is faced with the harsh day to day realities of gangs, drugs, unemployment and dog fights. And it shows the amazing perseverance of the people who try to give these dogs a fair chance of a ‘good’ life and what they mean to their owners. So worth buying or gifting!
Best book I have ever read.
This is a book you need to read with your heart not your eyes.
I was so engaged with this book from the first chapter. Having been involved in animal welfare, I could completely relate to the highs and lows. The relentless situation in which the people of Ocean View find themselves needs to be shouted out to this complacent world. The work that Corrine and Ingrid do there is never-ending, dangerous, and often disheartening and uplifting all at once. I have the greatest respect for these two woman, advocates for the animals, as well as the people of Ocean View. A very important book.
I’ve just finished reading Shine a Light. Suffice it to say this is the 1st book I’ve managed to start and finish in a very long time. Riveting. Heart-wrenching. A beacon of hope. The biggest lesson I took from this book: in order to help the animals in distress start by helping their owners… 💛
I have just completed Shine a Light. It is absolutely beautifully written. The heartfelt story of life in Ocean View township and the struggle there for both humans and animals. Amazing cameos without sentimentality. It touched me deeply. I cannot recommend this book highly enough especially for people living in SA. Inspiring. Uplifting. It gives me real hope that where there is love, compassion and sincere purpose, we CAN co-create a new tomorrow. Together.
CORRINE has written this beautiful book with such compassion, love, understanding and forgiveness. Not only is it an account of her journey in Ocean View but it is also a history lesson on how and why Ocean View came into being. Through their care and understanding her and Ingrid were able to help not only the animals but the people too.
A very special and at times heart wrenching story about a truly exceptional and unique woman, Ingrid, “The Mother Theresa of Animals”.
A story that will stay on your mind and in your heart for a long time after you’ve finished reading the book.
Corrine is an amazing story writer who takes one into the heart and soul of Ocean View and you’ll never be the same again.
God bless Corrine, Ingrid and the people of Ocean View.
I absolutely loved this book! Congratulations Corrine – your writing skills are impressive – you write from the heart and certainly ‘tell it how it is’ I could relate to so many situations, people and scenarios you write about. This is a book every South African should read – many have no clue of what life is like for so many people and animals living on their doorstep.
Shine a Light is a very special book. Easy to read and very well written, it captured my full attention and I was sad to finish it in 2 days. I wanted more…more of the raw emotion that fills every chapter, more of the honesty and soul searching truths and more of the insights and glimpses into a world that is so physically close to me but so far away from my daily emotional existence.
Thank you Corrine and Ingrid for what you are doing to help the animals and humans in Ocean View, and for shining a light on them so that other communities will be able to see in…
A gem of a book, do yourself a favour and read it
I felt this book with every Fibre of my being – beautifully written with love and compassion. I cried, I laughed! It’s a story that needs to get out into the world. Congratulations on this heartfelt and exquisite truth.
My heart was in my mouth, at times I was laughing, at other times I was angry, sad, frustrated and scared. Mostly, I came away with a huge and necessary insight into a life of a community I didn’t know much about. I believe everyone should read this book and maybe it will encourage greater understanding, empathy and inspire people to do more.
This book is like a stark grey courtyard, where beautiful single flowers somehow manage to push through the hard concrete.
Corrine opens our eyes to life on the other side. Many Capetonians know or have been through some sort of trauma relating to gangsterism, addiction or abuse. This book takes you on an emotional rollercoaster; sadness, anger, hope, unexpected romance. People can change not with anger or force but only with love. Heal the people. Heal the animals.
Living within the Ocean View community I know first-hand of the experiences and stories that are held within the pages of this book, though I consider myself to be more fortunate than many of the people I know. I have never had to fight for stability in my life and I feel that the root of most of the problems in my area are centred around that fight, for stability.
I think something that resonated with me was that you aren’t always going to be able to convince people that their wrongs are wrongs but you can build an understanding even in the darkest of circumstances. I mean even I’m guilty of judging people by the care of their animals, but often get judged myself for being “a coloured owning a pitbull”. This book perfectly captured the intertwined lives of Ocean View’s people, and I commend Corrine for taking time to get to know each one of their stories. There have been many a time when I have called on Aunty Ingrid, whether it be good or bad situations, and she is always willing to lend a helping hand. That woman has a heart of gold!
Let me just say that Ocean View has a lot of questionable characters, underlying stresses, past to present issues and a not so subtle reputation but it’s a work in progress. This book does exactly what its title says – it shines a light on a community that has been held in the dark for too long.
You’ll need tissues, but an insightful, good read and even comical in places.
I’m still trying to finish the book…I stop reading to stop crying… sometimes a happy cry, sometimes a sad cry and sometimes an angry cry…but always crying!
This is a beautiful story, made all the more so because it’s real!!
Wonderfully written and depicts the harsh reality of the after effects of our previous “white supremacy” quite starkly.
May all your good work continue to influence others to do the same!
Wow! I started and finished it in 30 hours! Really couldn’t put it down ! What I also loved was your own sharing of your upbringing…… that must’ve been difficult Corrine Wilson..thank you for sharing your and Ingrid’s experiences. I am in awe of you, particularly as I used to work in animal welfare charities…..well done Corrine and Ingrid ! Xxx
The realisation I had in this book was that joy and hope lies in our hands. There is no joy and hope if we look the other way. Skillfully and beautifully written.
“Wow … just wow!”
I read Shine a Light in one day. It is a wonderful book. I love the style and the observations are poignant but never get self indulgent.
I just burst into tears and giggles of joy when I read … (spoiler alert) wow, what an amazing journey you have all had together. I loved it.
Tears were streaming when I read this book. It’s really a good read and a must read … and I had the privilege to read it.
So happy this is at last published!! When I read it my heart was already hardened by the plight of this community, but your words sank in chapter by chapter and I was left with a softer understanding and compassion, thank you Corrine, love you lots xx
“I didn’t want to put it down, although painful at times I have never read a more authentically beautiful, raw, inspiring and at times even funny book. Beautifully told and written ! A MUST read!”
Authentic and movingly compelling, “Shine a Light” is a personal journey into one of the forgotten communities of South Africa and the complex nuances, challenges, and heartbreak of the people within. This story will draw you in to your own inner wrestlings and prejudices and give you hope for a new South Africa.
This book is awesome. There are so many situations that were either sad, joyful, tearful, hopeful, despairing, positive and it got me in so many ways. I feel that I need to re-read it. I am just thinking of … (spoiler alert) now and from total despair and darkness into light, love and happiness. I am grateful that the Almighty sent you onto Ingrid’s path, you both are so loving, dedicated in your purpose of making a difference in an animal’s life, such selfless service is to be admired. Thank you for this amazing eye opening book.
I have just turned the last page of “Shine a Light”. I wish there was more. A lot more.
You have evoked every kind of feeling and emotion for me, from joy to despair, hope to anger, love to shame… but most of all a deep response of recognition and kinship. What an incredible story you tell and how beautifully you tell it!
Thank you for taking me on your journey. Thank you for your insights, thoughts, feelings and your enormous humanity.
I am filled with awe and respect.
Bugger you for writing such a great read – I can’t put it down! Just so happy I don’t have any responsibilities to do right now. It’s so ‘real’ and heartwarming.
18:30 and I’m still reading, thanks for my riveting date.
21:30 Wow oh wow! Just closed the book – no words – well done!
I was fortunate to read drafts of Corrine’s book ‘Shine a Light’ before it was published and was struck by the deep understanding and regard she developed for a community and its animals in its struggle just to live and survive.
Through her insight I experienced the raw emotion of their challenges (as well as hers) found a lump in my throat at the pain of tragic, untimely loss of loved ones, felt angry and distressed at the history of forced removals and gained a better understanding of the coping mechanisms of addiction.
Through all of this, the plight of animals caught up in this narrative bought home the difficult, challenging, often unrewarding work that Ingrid and Corrine undertook with the hope that assistance and education would bring a better life for all. The animal organizations certainly have their hands full.
Yet this book also brings joy, hope and happiness because where there is darkness there is also light.
I could not wait for this book to be published and now that it is I want more, much more. Enough will never be enough for me
Having had the privilege of working with Corrine on this book years ago when it first came into being, I got to experience its stories from a very unique and intimate perspective. It is a great honour to have played my small part in its formation, and to now see the stories come to life for so many more. I believe that it is these kinds of stories that allow profound healing, community forgiveness and compassion to come to life. Anyone who picks up this book will be deeply touched by the content; but those readers who truly spend time with the work will come out transformed: not only in their understanding of South Africa, but in their understanding of themselves within it, and perhaps, even within the world. It is a book which transports us back to a place of shared humanity, and allows us to meet one another in the middle. In doing that, it is the kind of book that leaves readers changed forever.
Shine a Light: A True Story is Corrine Wilson’s touching experience, in conversation with Ingrid De Storie, about the lives of impoverished canines as the result of social and economic deprivation in Cape Town. With a keen eye for detail, the author recounts how afraid they were at the beginning to venture into the crowded streets while nervously looking over their shoulders. You put yourself into the author’s shoes and you feel empathy when she writes how easy it is to feel lost in such a place, a community that is entirely foreign. While images of weary citizens and neglected animals can prove heartbreaking, it is a story that also gives you a reason to smile. Despite the tremendous adversity in a nation that struggles with contrasts, hope and a sense of humanity still persist. It’s a true story that pulses with life, and it will make you feel so involved that you wouldn’t mind the slimy trails of dog drool on your pants
It’s a page-turner filled with reality-biting moments. After reading this book, I give my respect to Corrine Wilson and Ingrid De Storie for their profound humane concerns, and for their caring for neglected animals that are victims of Cape Town’s political and social unrest. Wilson’s narrative hits you like an arrow on a bullseye as it opens your eyes to the realities existing in a different part of the world. It is a testament to the adage that the world can only heal through love. By helping animals, Wilson and De Storie have gotten to know people closely as well and understand their trauma and sentiments. One country’s reality can spark a reflection deep within each of us. Shine a Light deserves a global audience.
5 Star Review
One of the best books I’ve read in a long time.
Her story, in conversations with Ingrid de Storie, not only shares the lives of dogs living in poverty, but it also paints the vivid picture of social-spatial polarization in a way that gives life to the parallels that exist within the South Peninsula of Cape Town.
Captured through both Corrine (Noordhoek resident) and Ingrid’s (Ocean View resident) lived experiences. Similar yet so different. That privilege that we try our best to look beyond, yet cannot escape. Throughout the book, what striked me most, was the ability to depict the rawness of the conditions in which pets encountered, and helped, lived. And the missing depths of contrast of the constant state of anxiety, fear and disillusionment that the people of Ocean View live with. A missing contrast because it is an onslaught of emotional and psychological overwhelm that can only be captured if you’ve lived through it.
‘Shine A Light’ is a brilliant read if ever you find yourself wondering what life is like on “the other side”. Whichever side that may be. It speaks of the humanity within all of us. It reflects the suffering, and strength of the Ocean View community, through the lives of the many dogs, some living in better conditions than their humans. The poverty that echoes through their empty bowls.
Words, however, may fail to do adequate justice, to the injustice, that is suffered amidst the palpable strength of this community birthed through the shared history of the forceful relocations in 1967/8. Ocean View, the place that holds my heart, with memories of my father sharing stories of life in Noordhoek, before Ocean View became “home” as a result of the Group Areas Act.
How I loved this book!
From bringing tears to my eyes to leaving me with a smile on my face for the sincerity of the situation and the people. It is surely true what they say that you cannot change the world (situation) for all the animals but for the ones that you can reach, you surely can change their world!
I salute you (and all the Ingrid’s and Corrine’s out there)
What an awesome book!
Thank you for inspiring hope and faith in humanity. You both are amazing ladies. You are an inspiration to those of us still hoping to help others who are not as fortunate as we are xx
A compelling read.
This is one of the best books I have ever read. I read it cover to cover in one sitting and literally couldn’t put it down. Corrine and Ingrid, you are truly inspiring human beings ♥️ I just fell in love with the animals and the people in this book.
Finished it in 3 days!!! I’m blown away, this book is truly amazing.
One of the best books I have ever read.
I could not put this book down! I read it in two days and loved every minute of it. It is such an important story for everybody in Cape Town to read, although the reach of this story is sure to be felt by people all over the world. The writing is poignant, impactful and honest. This book gives a glimpse into lives that are usually so easily overlooked. Moving, heartbreaking and inspiring all at once.
I got the book on Saturday when Ingrid and Corrine had a launch at our local flea market in Ocean View. I have 3 pages left, only because I couldn’t find my reading glasses this morning and had to leave for work. I could not put it down. I spent my weekend reading and crying. My daughter asked me what happened to me when she looked at me on Sunday morning. I said, it’s this book. It was heart wrenching. I have known Ingrid since we moved to Ocean View from Simonstown and we grew up in the same street. I have lived in Ocean View for 51 years and I have never read anything like this. It is such a pure raw story of all our lives, the drug addicts, the broken souls, the naughty children with absent fathers, the drug dealers, the good people of Ocean View and of course the animals that share this life with us. Corrine has really stepped out of her life in Noordhoek and immersed herself in Ocean View and absorbed all its pain and suffering and beauty and then put it all down in this book, she has told the story of Ingrid, herself and their friendship and the story of all of us.
I’m humbled to have been gifted a preview copy of Corrine Wilson’s heart-wrenching memoir, ‘Shine a Light’.
This treasure, crammed with lessons, cautions and insights subtley woven through Corrine’s dance of words – sometimes melodic, sometimes staccato but always rivetting, enticing.
I honestly could not put it down. I cried and chuckled.
Real life. Raw love. In all its unflattering gory glory. With an elusive light of hope beckoning and teasing through every page.
Bringing me back to what life illustrates daily (and, in contrast, so flatly) “It is what it is”
I encountered several parallels with ‘The Invitation’ by Oriah Mountain Dreamer and, if I must select a stanza then
‘I want to know
if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it’
Is the one that I take most from this tapestry of vulnerability and strength, sadness and joy, loss and hope.
Thank you, Corrine, for taking me on your journey of authenticity urging me, and at times, forcing me to examine my own prejudices and foregone conclusions and reminding me that we are rather insignificant in the greater scheme of things. There is something both sobering and comforting in this realisation.
I stand, refreshed and ready to do more. Be more. Trust more and, yes, (even) hope more.
Thank you for this gift. This treasure.
Bloody well done !
Wow wow wow!!! All I can say is….”I have NO words”. Your book, “Shine a light” is absolutely incredible! I am going to suggest to every single person I meet to buy one and read it. I am in absolute awe of your bravery, your dedication to the animals and how you made such a huge difference in so many Animal’s and people’s lives in Ocean View. I also think you took Ingrid’s help and work she does to a whole new level by being there with her and supporting her and helping her to be the amazing person she is, and it was not without danger being on the Streets in a community suffering with drugs and gangsterism. Your acceptance in that community is a testament to what you have achieved. Thank you to both you and Ingrid for giving a voice to those who cannot speak. I am in AWE!! I urge anyone and everyone to buy this book. You will not be able to put it down.
I am almost at the end of this amazing book, I keep having to put it down, because I become overwhelmed with emotion.
Yesterday, on the way to feed my rescue horses, there were 6 cars parked along Glen Road in Glencairn, and a women was screaming in despair. I immediately stopped to see if I could help, to be told that someones son had just been murdered in Ocean View. I was immediately transported back to this book and related completely with the way Corrine first felt, and the courage and determination of Ingrid. The difference these two incredible women have made in the lives of so many animals and people … there is not enough money in the world to account for it. If only more people would be proactive and waken to the horror on their doorsteps, and find ways to help. This book is going to be my inspiration for a long time, when I feel overwhelmed at the difficult task we face and the lack of resources and support, and I feel like giving up because the sacrifice is too much, I will turn to this book.
This book will make you cry, make you angry, inspire you and make your heart soar with joy. Thank you both for being my inspiration when everything seems hopeless.