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by Michiel Heyns (Jonathan Ball, R180)
Michiel Heyns is fast becoming one of my favourite SA writers.
As in his previous novel Lost Ground, this novel is an exploration of the tension between “home” and the wider world.
This time the home is SA and the seductive temptress is Paris – where the young Eric is apparently in the clutches of an evil Parisian gold-digger.
Christopher Turner returns to Paris after 30 years to “save” Eric – his best friend’s son. But what he encounters on his return to the city is not what he has expected.
He finds the brutish lout, Eric, has been transformed by the life in this city into a far more likable person.
Suddenly, Christopher finds himself questioning his own moral standards as the city’s spells and charms envelop him once again.
The Restless Supermarket
by Ivan Vladislavic (Umuzi, R185)
After “debilitating” errors with its first publication in 2002, this is a new edition of this classic novel by Ivan Vladislavic – winner of the Sunday Times Prize for Fiction.
The Restless Supermarket is a story of SA in transition. It is 1993 and Aubrey Tearle, an obnoxious old conservative who used to proofread telephone directories for a living, is not happy at his uncertain future in the new SA.
Aubrey’s favourite pastime is to grumble about declining standards in his many letters regarding misspelt words and faulty grammar.
In this new SA, Aubrey is determined to enlighten his fellow citizens. The results of his endeavours are often disastrous and definitely funny. This is a novel worth reading again.
The Red House
by Mark Haddon (Random House Struik, R215)
The Red House is, simply put, a story about family.
Two estranged siblings and their families attempt to build bridges and reconnect after the death of their mother.
Richard invites his estranged sister, Angela, and her family to spend a week with his family at their rented house.
Four adults and four children make up this family. But in this house they are all strangers to each other.
In this house they will share meals, log fires, card games and walks for seven days. But in the stillness of the Welsh valley in which this house is nestled, ghosts of the past begin to rise up.
Will this family mend the fences, reconnect and find peace?
A Land More Kind Than Home
by Wiley Cash (Random House Struik, R215)
An autistic boy is smothered as his nine-year-old brother watches in horror, during a healing service in the mountains of North Carolina.
This haunting image, the backdrop for this devastating story, is inspired by a true event.
It is from this image that a heartbreaking story is told of how religion and family fail to protect an innocent child.
by Liza Marklund (Random House Struik, R195)
Set in Stockholm, Vanished is a crime thriller about a killer who is driven by more than just wanting to kill.
A young woman is on the run from a deranged killer in a derelict port in Stockholm.
The next morning, two men are found murdered.
Annika Bengtzon, a copy editor at the Evening Post, is approached by a woman who wants her story published.
She claims to have founded an organisation that can erase people’s pasts.
As Annika investigates this organisation, more murders follow.
Liza Marklund has sold more than 12 million books worldwide. Her novels are said to be gripping and intelligent; and her Annika Bengtzon series is being adapted into film.
So, if crime fiction is your thing, this book promises to be a gripping read this winter.
by Jenny Kay & Elinor Storkey (Struik Lifestyle, R160)
This book could well become my new kitchen Bible.
If, like me, cooking is not your favourite activity – especially as you juggle children, work and home into a busy weekday – then this book is worth a look at.
Fuss-Free Suppers is all about creating wholesome meals with the minimum of fuss and time.
As any working mother will attest to – it’s all in the planning.
This recipe book takes this premise as its starting point, showing that with the right tools, a well-stocked pantry and the recipes on its pages, anyone can create tasty dishes any harried day of the week.
Not only does it offer recipes, it also guides you on what tools are necessary for fuss-free cooking and what every pantry should have at all times.
While it won’t have me skipping into my kitchen ready to whip up a meal every day, it does promise to offer me tips on how to make the chore a bit easier and bearable. - Meneesha Govender