Book Review - Bridget Jones’s Baby: The Diaries

by Helen Fielding (Jonathan Cape) ISBN: 978-1-911-21456-4 


The world’s favourite Singleton is back in this latest novel that is a prequel to Bridget Jones:  Mad About The Boy

Bridget is her glorious and irreverent self in this novel, something that was clearly lacking in the last. She finds herself single again after Mark Darcy breaks up their engagement due to a minor indiscretion with Daniel Cleaver at their engagement party.  At least she is finally at her ideal weight. 

She is delighted to find herself accidentally pregnant, but there’s one tiny problem. She’s not sure who the father is. In one week she bumps into and beds both Mark and Daniel. She’d love for it to be Mark since Daniel is his usual emotionally unavailable, philandering self. Mark is back to being perfect and attentive. Daniel predictably turns Bridget’s pregnancy into a contest of the dominant sperm. 

Bridget not only has to contend with the smug-marrieds of the first two novels, but now the smug-mums too. She undergoes a touching metamorphosis as she prepares for the arrival of her baby. The book is written in the usual breezy diary form. A toothsome and indulgent read that I finished in a couple of hours. 

Ewa Fabris
www.writerswrite.co.za 
3/5

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Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate.

Book Review - Elephant Dawn

by Sharon Pincott (Jacana) ISBN: 978-1-4314-2415-3 


This is the third book from Australian conservationist Sharon Pincott, chronicling 13 years of her experiences with the Zimbabwean Presidential Herd of elephants. 

In 2001 Pincott takes the brave decision to leave her comfortable life in Australia to work with elephants in troubled Zimbabwe. Completely self-funded and untrained, she arrives in Zimbabwe wanting to spend time with this herd that was granted protection under a decree from Robert Mugabe himself.

Her days are spent observing various family herds, recording details and forging bonds with the matriarchs. During Pincott’s time there land grabs drastically increase around Hwange National Park and Estate, where the herd roams. She is often threatened as she strongly opposes the sport hunting and poaching in those claimed areas. The book is full of horrific stories of snaring and poisoning juxtaposed with Pincott’s accounts of her deeply intimate bond with the elephant families.

This book showcases the desperate plight of wild animals in Zimbabwe as the country spirals into chaos with each passing year post-independence. It is a genuinely personal account of the hardships and triumphs of a courageous and often hilarious lady. I was riveted. 

Ewa Fabris
www.writerswrite.co.za 
5/5

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Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate.

Book Review - Insanely Gifted

Turn Your Demons into Creative Rocket Fuel by Jamie Catto (Canongate) ISBN: 978 1 78211 803 9 


Jamie Catto is a founding member of the band Faithless and 1 Giant Leap, an album and film project that seeks to showcase “Unity Through Diversity”. He has been leading personal development workshops for over a decade. 

I enjoyed this book thoroughly but think I need to read it a few more times. The cover grabbed me straight away with a zany reptile staring out defiantly, but it’s the wisdom it contains that had me inhaling each page. I appreciated Catto’s irreverent style of calling a spade a spade. 

I learned, to my enormous relief, that all the junk rattling around in my head can be pure gold. There are simple games and strategies in each chapter that are so useful without being overly academic about the psychology behind them. The book does what is says on the cover, the stuff that weighs you down is also the stuff that can propel you to living a miraculous life. Although this is the work of a lifetime, this book is a great boost in the right direction. 

It’s the perfect read for those feeling stuck in situations or frozen by the fear of the unknown. Also, it’s completely entertaining. 

Ewa Fabris
www.writerswrite.co.za
5/5

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Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate.

Book Review - Broke And Broken

by Lucas Ledwaba and Leon Sadiki (Blackbird Books) ISBN: 978-1-928337-30-0


Lucas Ledwaba is a veteran journalist who has worked for a number of national publications and is the 2010 recipient of the CNN African Journalist Award. Leon Sadiki is a photojournalist who received the Standard Bank Sikuvile Journalism Award Story of the Year 2013 and CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards for his work on Marikana. 

Their collaboration in this book exposes the haunting tale of the harsh and negligent treatment of mine workers in the gold mining industry in South Africa. 

Part one of the book is a collection of stories from men who have been retrenched from various mines due to their medical inability to work. Due to their inhalation of dust in the mines, they all contracted silicosis. This is a debilitating and progressive disease of the lungs. Part two tells the stories of the families and orphans left behind due to their breadwinner dying of occupationally contracted lung diseases. Part three outlines the mine workers’ legal battle against the mining houses for re-compensation. 

Gold mining built South Africa into what it is today, and this book is a stark look at the treatment of mine workers. Broke And Broken is a compelling read with a poignantly human angle. 

Ewa Fabris
www.writerswrite.co.za
3.5/5

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Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate.

Book Review - Andy And His Magic Phone Visit The World Next Door

by Kim Ebner (Struik Children) ISBN: 978-1-43230-516-1 


This is the first book from Johannesburg-based attorney Kim Ebner who has a penchant for fantasy novels. 

Andy receives a second hand phone from his parents for his twelfth birthday. He is over the moon. While at school with his new phone, he gets several urgent messages from a stranger wanting to meet with him to give him a brand new phone in exchange for the one he has. His science teacher, Mr Casper, catches him texting in class and he gets detention. Detention turns out to be at Mr Casper’s house. In the basement science lab, Andy discovers his phone has magical powers that transport him to another world. Upon his arrival, he loses his phone but makes a new friend, Harold. From Harold he learns that evil adults have been trying to enslave this world that used to belong to children.

The two friends set off to find Andy’s phone and to save the “world next door”. 

As a parent, I thought it was inappropriate for Andy to be receiving text messages from a strange adult, meeting the stranger and then going to detention at a teacher’s home. I felt uncomfortable reading it to my children. 

Ewa Fabris
www.writerswrite.co.za
1/5

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Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate.

Book Review - The Woman In The Photo

by Mary Hogan (William Morrow) ISBN: 978-0-06-238693-9


Mary Hogan is the New York based bestselling author of Two Sisters and a number of young adult titles. 

Hogan weaves together two coming-of-age tales, one set in the late Victorian era and the other in the present day. 

Elizabeth Haberlin, of the Pittsburgh Haberlins, holidays with her family every summer at the exclusive South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club. The club is built on the banks of a lake in the Allegheny Mountains, above the steel-mill town of Johnstown, Pennsylvania. When the lake wall disintegrates during heavy rains and floods the community below, her life is irrevocably changed by the destruction. 

Lee Parker is about to turn eighteen, becoming eligible to receive information about her closed adoption. The information includes an old photograph of two women standing together amongst rubble. One of them is the founder of American Red Cross, Clara Barton, and the other is Lee’s ancestor. She juggles her love and respect for her adoptive mother, Valerie, with the desperate need to know where she comes from as she hunts for more information. 

A beautiful, detailed, and well-researched novel, Hogan uses actually historical events as the backdrop. It is a satisfying, but not memorable read. 

Ewa Fabris
www.writerswrite.co.za
3/5

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Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate.

Book Review - The Uncommoners: The Crooked Sixpence

by Jennifer Bell (Corgi Books) ISBN: 9780552572507

 
Jennifer Bell began her career in in children’s books as a specialist bookseller at Foyles in London, one of the world’s most famous bookshops. The Crooked Sixpence is the first book in The Uncommoners Series

Ivy and her brother Seb are at the hospital because their granma Sylvie has taken a fall. Ivy spots a strange man lurking in the ward, with deformed hands. That’s when things take a turn for the weird. Upon returning to their grandmother’s house, they find it has been broken into and ransacked. A large floating glossy black feather has scratched “We can see you now” into the wallpaper. 

They evade the two men in black uniforms that appear on the doorstep by jumping into a magical suitcase. It takes them to the world of Lundinor, a giant market beneath London where uncommon, magical objects are traded. 

Ivy and Seb have to race against the clock to save their parents, who have been kidnapped by a dark guild within Lundinor. As they venture on, they learn more about their family heritage and make some interesting friends along the way. 

Exhilarating and enchanting, my children of nine and eleven were hooked from the first page. 

Ewa Fabris
www.writerswrite.co.za
4/5

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Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate.

Book Review - The Kept Woman

by Karin Slaughter (HarperCollins) ISBN: 9781780893570
 

Will entered, in the midst of a bloody, gory murder scene, after a brief moment of concern for Betty, his small dog, who was having her teeth cleaned, because if the vet was to be believed, you needed to take out a mortgage to pay for the bills associated with poor dental hygiene in dogs. 

And there you have a taste of Karin Slaughter. Her books are darkly amusing, clever and gruesome. That's before you've met the characters. 

Special agent Will Trent has a messed up past that will never leave him alone. His feisty partner, Faith is a single mother, determined to be the best agent in the GBI. Amazing Amanda is their bitchy boss, who never fails to fling a sarcastic, poisoned comment that will leave your jaw hanging. They've just been joined by medical examiner Sara Linton, a beautiful doctor. Sara and Will are trying being in love, and the fact that the murder scene has large amounts of blood belonging to Will's wife, Angie (yes, I did say wife!) is not helpful. 

Will thinks he can find Angie, because he knows her. Sara can tell from the scene that her chances of survival are small. 

Karin Slaughter, do you sleep? I can't. A page turner of note, a lot of blood, not for the faint-hearted. The characters are caught up in horrific scenes and the plot moves at a cracking pace - good confronting evil at every turn. 

It's a brilliant read, and ticks all the boxes - psychological crime at its very best. 

Bev Bouwer
www.writerswrite.co.za
4/5  

Karin Slaughter is the internationally bestselling author of more than a dozen crime thrillers. Following her New York Times stand-alone bestsellers, Cop Town and Pretty Girls, she has penned this eighth instalment in the Will Trent Series. 

The body of a retired cop is found in a partially constructed nightclub in Atlanta. The blood and evidence at the scene indicate that there was another victim. Will Trent’s ex-wife, Angie’s purse and gun are found at the scene. To further complicate things, the night club belongs to Atlanta’s favourite basketball star Marcus Rippy. Will had just concluded a seven-month brutal rape case against Rippy. Wealthy and protected by expensive lawyers, Rippy had gotten away with it. 

Time is running out for Angie based on Medical Examiner, Sara Linton’s, analysis of blood at the scene. Will is obsessed with finding Angie which threatens his year long relationship with Sara. 

Slaughter delves into the physical and mental abuse of women and children in her books and so it is a major theme in this book. I was on the edge of my seat as Will scrambles to solve the case before his world implodes. 

I found this book completely addictive. 

Ewa Fabris
www.writerswrite.co.za
4/5  

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Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate.

Book Review - The Lemon Tree

by Katherine Graham and Wendy Paterson (Struik Children) ISBN: 9781432306069

 
This is the first children’s picture book from journalist and fiction writer, Katherine Graham. She was long listed for the Short Story Day Africa competition for her short story, Heaven Scent, in 2013. 

The Lemon Tree was long listed for the Golden Baobab Prize in 2014. She takes her inspiration from the melting pot that is her home country, South Africa. 

The rains have finally come and Gogo wants to make pancakes. She finds she’s run out of the ingredients. She sends her grandchildren, Lungi and Sipho, to pick the golden lemons from the tree in their yard. They take the lemons to various people in the village to trade for flour, milk and eggs. 

This is a story about finding clever solutions in a pinch and about a village collaborating to help each other. Each page is colourfully illustrated by Wendy Paterson, an artist and beloved secondary-school teacher. Her expressive and energetic illustrations made story time an interactive affair as my children loved pointing out all the animals on each page. 

This is a vibrant book for four to eight-year-olds.  

Ewa Fabris
www.writerswrite.co.za
3/5
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Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate.

Book Review - Nombulelo And The Moth

by Susie Dinneen (Puffin Books) ISBN: 978-1-48590-010-8 


This is the first published book from Susie Dinneen, a Johannesburg based writer and editor for magazines and advertising. Dinneen captures ideas from her daydreams and brings them to life in her stories. 

This is the tale of Nombulelo, who loves to sit on her Gogo’s lap and listen to stories of the forest. Gogo tells her of her own magical encounters with animals but Nombulelo can’t help being afraid to go into the deep green wilderness. When tragedy strikes, Nombulelo learns that for the love of her Gogo she can be brave. As she sets off on a journey through the forest, she finds magic and healing for the sorrow in her heart. 

Maja Sereda is an award-winning children’s book illustrator. Her whimsical illustrations of animals in the forest and people in this book delighted my children and captured their imagination. 

Even though this is a gorgeous book for four to eight year olds, my older children (nine and eleven) loved the endearing storyline. 

Ewa Fabris
www.writerswrite.co.za
4/5

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Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate.