Aug 11, 12
Read in August, 2012
Patrick Flanery: Will you marry me? How I loved this novel! So much so that I am even willing to forgive your flagrantly Irish name and risk my father's English wrath.
In post-apartheid South Africa, acclaimed author Clare Wald and aspiring writer Sam Leroux come face to face -- as author and subject, as the rejecter and the rejected, as human beings coming to terms with painful ambiguous pasts. Both are suffering from the scars of apartheid and also (...I think?) from a too fierce loyalty to their country and their academic ideals. As Sam works on a biography of Clare's life, they coyly fumble through their shared present and past. So much of the social and personal fabric of the country was in tatters after apartheid -- unanswered questions, disappeared loved ones, inability to trust anyone, a constant fear of violence that has lead homeowners to install steel shutters on their homes and locks on their shower doors. Clare and Sam's sins cannot be absolved by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. But they might just find that absolution in each other.
A lovely, thoughtful book. Beautiful, complex, intellectual. Like me. (Hint hint, Patrick.)