What would a witch in the 21st century be like? How would she live? How would her life unfold as she negotiates modern life and ancient power?
Let RaveWhat would a witch in the 21st century be like? How would she live? How would her life unfold as she negotiates modern life and ancient power?
Let Raven Kane show you. She is a thoroughly modern witch living in current-day Johannesburg, dealing with the things everyone deals with in addition to a wayward coven, a wonderful menagerie of pets and animals, and a crumbling house.
Add a criminal investigation into the mix and no wonder Raven is feeling overwhelmed and under-spelled. She is burnt out, tired and fighting to hang onto what really matters to her.
This book has everything – family and expectations, love and fear, murder and mayhem, animals and potion gardens. The past and the present collide in this story, and sparks fly.
Raven is easy to relate to. She is flawed and complex, but inherently someone the reader would like to know.
I think this book could happily sit both in general fiction and in YA fiction. Raven did feel younger than the twenty something she must be so I do think she would appeal to young adults as well as older ones.
What I found the most engaging about this book is the obvious joy the author felt while writing it. It is fun. The words rush off the page, tripping and giggling as they demand attention. But don’t be fooled by this style, the story underneath is all Lawrence, in all her surprising and occasionally twisted glory.
I loved this book despite starting to read it with some trepidation. I wasn’t sure if I cared enough about fertility to be engaged enough to read a whI loved this book despite starting to read it with some trepidation. I wasn’t sure if I cared enough about fertility to be engaged enough to read a whole book!
BUT………. it didn’t take Lawrence long to blow me away with her writing. Despite being a sceptic I was on every step of the journey with her. She writes with such a rawness that it feels like you know her, and by the end of the book, you love her and her family like they are actual real people. Which obviously they are, but like real real, not over there real.
Lawrence manages to share her pain in a way that makes the reader hurt right along with her, but turns it from the morose to darkly humour with a wicked sense of humour. Her turn of phrase will have you laughing despite yourself as you try not to cry along with her.
This book is about infertility and the struggle to conceive. But it is also about humanity and strength, love and commitment. And dealing with the unexpected curveballs life throws at you with humour and tenacity.
Lawrence draws you in, throws you onto a rollercoaster of emotions and spits you out, rung out and depleted, but invigorated to take life by the scruff of the neck and shake it.
A fabulous, readable book that runs the gamut of emotions. Worth reading whether you want a baby or not, because it is about facing challenges as much as it is about conceiving.
Wow, this is a book which will invoke strong reactions. You will love it or hate it; I cannot imagine anyone being meh about this book Imagine if the SWow, this is a book which will invoke strong reactions. You will love it or hate it; I cannot imagine anyone being meh about this book Imagine if the Secret Seven and Lord of the Flies had a baby, and that baby hung out at The Wasp Factory and maybe chatted to Stephen King – this book is that baby.
It tells the story of a summer of four friends, known as Gang. Four almost teenager, not yet hitting puberty fully but feeling its edges, boys who think they are little men. Boys with the arrogance of youth and the strength of blind courage. Boys with some screwed up ideas with no adults who are managing to monitor or control them. Boys on a road to devastation and destruction.
As an adult reader I could see where these kids were going, watch them hurtling towards the brick wall of reality, and was unable to stop them, or stop myself reading and wincing.
I don’t want to give away too much but from the blurb it is evident that the four boys are living in the 70s and imagine themselves as future saviours of England from the Ruskies. The book is set mid Cold War so I imagine these kinds of war games were quite common. However, these boys, this Gang, was a perfect storm of parental absences, charismatic peers and general boredom. And bored, disgruntled, parent hating teenagers are a dangerous lot. Add in death, fear and internal bullying and you really do have the setting for some twisted behaviour.
It is also included in the blurb that of the four of them, only two survive. As an adult I was quite shocked at myself hoping for one, and then another, boy to be the one to die. Do the unlikeable deserve to die more than the likable? This is a question raised both in me, through my reactions to the boys, and the book, through their decisions and behaviours.
I was glad to wake in the middle of the night because it meant I could read a few more pages. This book, the first in ages, literally kept me up at night, either reading it or thinking about it. It is not for the fainthearted, but if you like your stories gritty and real, and unputdownable, then this book is for you.
I enjoyed this odd book. It's a selection of weird experiments conducted over the years, often when the consideration for animal and human feelings anI enjoyed this odd book. It's a selection of weird experiments conducted over the years, often when the consideration for animal and human feelings and emotions were less empathetic and, frankly, humane, than today. Some times I cringed a little but what I thoroughly enjoyed was when some weird thing led to something else which led to something which is a recognisable benefit nowadays.
Other times I just shuddered at the things we thought acceptable.
A book worth reading in fits and starts really, not one to read in one go.
Set in the near future South Africa, this wonderfully written and completely gripping tale of draught stricken, fertility problem besieged JohannesburSet in the near future South Africa, this wonderfully written and completely gripping tale of draught stricken, fertility problem besieged Johannesburg is frightening familiar and horrifying realistic. There but for few decisions go us. Or maybe there because of a few decisions go us.
Kirsten (or is it Kate) is a talented photographer and synaesthete – she sees sounds, tastes colours, feels words – living in 2021 Johannesburg with her Marmalade James and a Black Hole where part of her heart and all her childhood memories should be.
Her best friend Keke, a journalist, starts to discover some oddities in the story of Kirsten’s past.
And then there is Seth, math genius renegade man with a fuck the establishment attitude and the smarts to get away with it.
Slowly how these people are connected for good and bad is revealed as Kirsten and Keke investigate Kirsten’s murky past.
The book drags the reader along, often late into the night when you know you should be sleeping. When the climax starts to build there is no way you can put the book down until it is done. I read the last 35% (kindle obvs) in one sitting, ignoring everything around me, because putting it down was just not an option.
Lawrence’s future South Africa will resonate with South Africans but is also familiar enough as a city to not alienate non-South African readers. I think this is such a valuable skill in South African authors – we want books that are ours but that are also accessible to everyone else. Lawrence nails this perfectly.
Lawrence’s vivid scenes had me thinking I wanted to get back to that movie I was watching – oh wait, it’s a book – on more than one occasion.
I did find the present tense writing jarring on occasion; it is not my favourite style of writing. I would not notice for ages and then something would suddenly make me aware of it. I kept one example: ‘It was only 2pm but he felt like he had done enough grind for the day. He stands up, ready to head home.’
It feels like the tenses are mixed there. They probably aren’t and it is probably grammatically correct, but it just felt uncomfortable. The words didn’t sit well.
But the fact that this occasionally pulled me up short means that the rest of the time either I was so involved in the story I didn’t care or notice, or that it happened only occasionally. Either way, it doesn’t really distract from the story and only a pedant, like me, might notice.
It felt to me that Lawrence has certainly read Beukes but I think she writes Beukes off the page. If this book is not made into a movie it will be very sad indeed. It’s punchy, interesting, human and fast paced and very well written.
Wow – what a book. This book is trending at the moment because of the recent movie so many people have read and reviewed it recently. But I wanted toWow – what a book. This book is trending at the moment because of the recent movie so many people have read and reviewed it recently. But I wanted to add my wow to the noise about it. It claims to be a book you’d read in one sitting, and were I able to sit for long enough, it certainly would have been. Instead I read until later at night and then woke up earlier than I needed to, to read more.
The story on its own could have been any number of books, some even good. But what makes Donoghue’s telling of the story so amazing is her narrator. I think the story is well known now – a woman and her son live in a single room, captures of a man who visits, abuses the woman and brings them their necessities. The son, Jack, is five, and was born in Room. Room is narrated by Jack.
Jack is completely believable as a 5 year old with wildly slewed development – he is incredibly mature in some ways and so completely immature in others, as might well happen if you lived in just a room with your mother.
That Ma and Jack actually do happen, that there are people who have lived this story as real life made Room so much more powerful. I could not help but think of Fritzl and the women he held captive while reading Room.
A wonderfully told, amazingly real story – I loved it And I shan’t see the move for fear it may ruin everything....more