Barbara Townsend Author

Ida's Line written by Barbara Townsend

“Poignant, minutely-researched, closely observed story that threads through forgotten injustices of South Africa in the 1930s and 1940s.”
CARMEL RICKARD, writer: Financial Mail legal columnist; Editor-in-Chief, Judicial Institute for Africa.

Barbara Townsend

Introduction written by Annette Theron

Barbara Townsend is an author from Botrivier and a natural storyteller.

She has always loved writing, borne out by the fact that already at the tender age of eight, she had an anecdotal piece published in the Cape Times.

Townsend released her first novel on 7 November in Bot River during a question and answer session to unpack the central themes contained in her historical novel.


Ida’s Line is a novel set in South Africa between 1930 and 1948, during a period of growing fascism and racial hatred for all people not regarded as European. 

Ida Joubert openly rejects these racist views and challenges the prevailing patriarchal attitudes towards women. As a result, she is in constant conflict with her white, middle-class family, especially her father. When Ida plucks up the courage to introduce Reuben May, a mixed-race teacher who wants to marry her, tensions rise. The story continues to explore the conflict of Ida’s love for Reuben and her family.

The drama contained in the romantic and historic themes of this novel are underscored by Townsend’s well-versed use of natural metaphors, a technique she deploys with great effect throughout the book.

Ida’s Line costs R270 (paperback) and can be ordered at or call them on 083 315 9211.

For more information on the author and the book, visit

Ida's Line Barbara Townsend