windy's Reviews > Agaat

Agaat by Marlene van Niekerk
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's review
Jan 14, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: around-the-world

The edition I read (Tafelberg, Cape Town, 2006) suffered from weird accent marks (bétter, héár) so at first I was reluctant to continue reading, but the book grew on me towards the end.
The main narrator, Milla, was an interesting (if not the most admirable) character and her relationship with her adopted daughter/housekeeper Agaat was well described. I found the husband character inconsistent, at times he's evil and controlling, and at times almost a bumbling sitcom husband. It left me wondering, if he was so incompetent and overbearing, how could their farm prosper? Maybe a case of unreliable narration on Milla's part? Agaat, while a fascinating character, was ultimately a little too much of a "magical colored person", who remains a mystery to the end. It would have been interesting to hear something of "her side" of the story as well.

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