Book Review

by Barbara Mutch

Genre: Historical Romance, Historical Fiction, Continental Locales
Sensuality: HOT
Setting: 1930s-1940s South Africa

RT Rating

Fans of The Help and Imitation of Life will be drawn to Mutch’s debut novel of a young South African black woman’s coming of age. Told from an interesting perspective and in a clear, sincere voice, this is a compelling story that sweeps readers into the life of a woman caught between two worlds, whose forbidden friendship with her mistress leads to tragedy and triumph. Poignant and gripping storytelling holds readers from beginning to end in this book that is as thought-provoking as it is lyrical.

Cathleen Harrington leaves Ireland to meet her fiancé in South Africa. After five years, Cathleen barely remembers him, nor does she still love him. Her only friends are her housemaid, Miriam; and Miriam’s daughter, Ada. Cathleen takes Ada under her wing, teaching her to read and play the piano. One day Ada discovers Cathleen’s journal, and her curiosity compels her to read it, giving Ada new insights into life and its possibilities. One night, everything changes, and Ada is forced to flee her home — making a new life in the harsh outside world. She is trapped between the woman she knows she can be, and the woman she is forced to be. (ST. MARTIN’S, Dec., 416 pp., $26.99)

Reviewed By: Kathe Robin

Publisher: ST. MARTIN'S

Published: December 2013

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