Book Review - Marriages Are Made In Bond Street

by Penrose Halson (Pan) ISBN: 9781447282617
 

Penrose Halson’s role in this book is far greater than just its author. It contains the stories of thousands of men and women who sought professional assistance in finding a spouse in London between 1939 and 1949. 

Halson recounts the true stories of the men and women that Marriage Bureau founders, Heather Jenner and Mary Oliver, matched successfully over 10 years. I enjoyed the rich archives of the bureau and the detailed research conducted by Halson in order to collate and corroborate these personal, romantic and heart-warming stories most about the book. I was however disappointed in the change in viewpoint which left the story of the initial storyteller unresolved. 

This book reminded me why books are important. Without the written word woven into a consumable but enticing tale, there is just no true and detailed way to document and share the human experience. To me a book is more of a legacy than any progeny could hope to be. 

Justine Cullinan
www.writerswrite.co.za
4/5

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

Book Review - Pretending to Dance

by Diane Chamberlain (Pan Macmillan) ISBN: 9781250010742 


Diane Chamberlain is a novel writing machine.  She is a career writer with a calculated ability to establish, nurture and follow each layer in an intricate plot. Her skilled approach to Pretending to Dance has left me an admirer and desirous to consume more of her work. 

Molly and her husband Aidan want more than anything to have children. As tragedy befalls them their only route is adoption, a process that raises frightening ghosts in Molly’s past. Juxtaposing Molly’s present and past, we slowly piece together what happened in her seemingly idyllic childhood in North Carolina during the summer she was 14-years-old. 

Chamberlain has crafted an emotive and believable story, told through the viewpoint of the passionate and enriched character of Molly. She has interwoven the story with steady suspense that delivers a great page-turning holiday read.  

Justine Cullinan
www.writerswrite.co.za
4/5

~~~

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

Book Review - Where’s Zuma?

by Kobus Galloway (Zebra Press) ISBN: 9781770228849

Kobus Galloway is an artist with a passion for comedy.  He puts both these skills to work in this illustrated localised ‘Where’s Wally’ allowing the reader to laugh through the tears looking for Zuma on every page. 

Zuma can be found at the arms deal expo, at Sun City for the Gupta’s wedding, standing in line to vote and in the shadows cast from a Hitachi generator during load shedding. Galloway has also hidden other well-known uniquely South African personalities on each page ranging from Top Billing presenters and Miss South Africa to Julius Malema, Evita Bezuidenhout and Jack Parrow. 

Galloway takes satire to the limit so this is not a book I’d recommend for a Zuma supporter or a card-carrying member of the ANC.  It is however an expression of historical events that South Africa has undergone in recent times with just as much bias as your average high school history textbook. 

Justine Cullinan
www.writerswrite.co.za
3/5

~~~

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

Book Review - Let’s Talk Frankly

Letters to influential South Africans about the state of our nation by Onkgopotse JJ Tabane (Pan Macmillan) ISBN: 9781770104327
 

JJ Tabane is a journalistically trained activist, academic and intellectual with his work boots on.  The book contains a foreword from Mathatha Tsedu, Executive Director of the South African National Editors’ Forum, providing support for a brave, considered and unabashed series of views to follow. 

The book consists of a series of frank (like its namesake) and sarcastically entertaining letters to South Africa’s leaders.  Tabane is no holds barred in his letters reminding Mamphela Ramphele that politicians sadly need to have a level of two-facedness that ‘comes with the job’ and telling Julius Malema that he is a ‘conman extraordinaire’.  

Tabane’s letters neatly capture various comings, goings and utterances of our nation’s leaders culminating in a letter to His Excellency JZ.  He writes with a charitable balance of scathing criticism and appreciative credit for Thuli Madonsela, Ray McCauley and Mmusi Maimane among others.  At the end of each letter Tabane makes useful recommendations to these leaders that provide the reader with a highly consumable package of insights into the career decisions that comprise South Africa’s most influential citizens. 

Though bittersweet, a thoroughly educational, entertaining and nourishing read. 

Justine Cullinan
www.writerswrite.co.za
4.5/5
~~~

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

Book Review - Shopaholic To The Rescue

by Sophie Kinsella (Bantam Press) ISBN: 9780593074633

This is the eighth in Kinsella’s hugely popular Shopaholic series.  If you’re like me you’re imagining Isla Fischer in Gucci stumbling around in designer heels as we embark on another of Becky Bloomwood Brandon’s adventures. 

This time Becky finds herself in an RV headed to Las Vegas with a posse of characters that fans of the Shopaholic series know well. Becky’s father has disappeared on a mission to help an old friend and Becky’s BFF Suze’s husband has gone along for the ride. 

With Suze and Mum up in arms about the secrecy of the mission Becky has to hatch a plan that will resolve her dad’s dutiful mission and bring him home before her mum loses the plot. Meanwhile Suze is having marriage problems, Becky’s two-year-old daughter Minnie wants nothing more than to ride a sheep and Becky is convinced her arch nemesis Alicia Bitch Long-Legs is up to something. 

This is a humorous, harmless read worth forgetting on the beach as soon as you finish reading it. 

Justine Cullinan
www.writerswrite.co.za
3.5/5

~~~

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