15731598._SY180_ An Affectionate Satire – Jenny Hobbs

The sub-title is apt: Jenny Hobbs skilfully skewers all the woes and peccadilloes of life in an impoverished South African small town. And yet, despite the dust, hunger, disease, squalor and crime there is still space for a small miracle, that transforms the town and its people and bring a smile to the face of the reader.
Schoolgirl Sweetness Moloi claims to have seen a vision. Let me leave it at that, lest I reveal the catalyst.
There’s a rich melange of characters: Ben Feinbaum is hopelessly sinking with the vanishing fortunes of the family owned hotel, the town’s one and only. Raylene, the volunteer teacher working in the school, boarding with the nuns of the Little Sisters of Extreme Destitution and being bullied by bitter old Sister Immaculata; the drunken Dr Ugh; the Smart Boys – the town’s *tsotsis; the senile old Chief Mohlalipula, outdated patriarch enveloped in a cloud of snuff; the two posh old ladies starving to death amidst a flood of feral cats; the alcoholic store-owner; the VanderLindeans barricading themselves for the siege against the Swaart Gevaar and life in general; the scheming dominee; the maniacal Anglican minister; and so it goes on. One character deserves her own introduction: No 1 Senior wife, Violet, in her immaculate suits, PR and business manager for her evangelical go-getter husband, the Prophet Hallelujah, the highly successful inventor of the Correct Baptised God Come Down in Africa Church.
There are other characters too who play a role in the unfolding furore, notably the brash, macho Aussie journalist Rod the Sod; and the principled policeman Capt Godwin Ngobese who is determined to stop the crime and bribery. There’s a ducking and diving government Minister and his old-school Director General grimly hanging on for his pension, no matter what. South Africa in a microcosm. The drama, the tears, the violence, and also, the hope, reconciliation and success.
I loved the book and it may well hit my Number One slot in my 2017 Reading Stakes. Read this book – highly recommended.
Publisher: Umuzi 2012



Welcome to my new blog!

A big wave to my faithful followers, and a huge Hello! to new blogging friends.

I hope you’ll find plenty to interest and entertain you at The Booksmith Blog.

For openers I’ve loaded some of my reviews in the Reader’s Radar pages. As you can see, these reviews date back to the beginning of my blogging career. Now that I have this secondary blog focussing on books I’ll post current and future reviews and bookish articles on The Booksmith, and continue to use my existing blog as my electronic soapbox from which to write about everything else.

If you’d like to learn more about my reading tastes, take a look at the About Page – see top header.  I love quirky books, offbeat books, oh – who am I kidding? I just love books and reading! Come and join the party!

And then there are the Hits & Misses pages. Here you will find my annual reading lists – the good, the brilliant, the awful, the bad, the unreadable. Yes: there are such things as un-readable books – far and few to be sure, but every now and then I hit one, which I close firmly and return to the shelf. Although my reading tastes are eclectic, even I baulk at some books: bad writing, unpleasant themes (e.g. zombies), buckets of blood,  –  you get the picture, I’m sure. We all have our no-go areas. Now you’ve seen some of mine.

I’ll be posting reviews of my current reads, articles on bookish topics, contributions from guest reviewers and writers. Watch this space!

I’m looking forward to sharing my passion for books and reading with other readers. And last, but by no means least, please follow this blog and post comments – I love hearing from my readers.