Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Book Review: THE SEEING PLACE by Aziza Eden Walker

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I volunteered to the review the book. It is a romance novel set in South Africa, in Cape Town, mostly. We meet Thuli first, a woman who knows what she wants and has achieved a lot of success in her professional life already. Although you get the impression that she is older (I expected her to be in her early forties), it is actually a surprise when she does reveal her age to Andile. She is portrayed initially as rude and arrogant, and I found it difficult to like her especially her lack of manners when she first meets Andile.
Thuli's behaviour throughout the story is fairly consistent, and you eventually come to like the character. Yes, she does have good manners. The reader learns why she is so ambitious, and it is not difficult to empathise with her. She keeps some things to herself. This has some artificial feel to it, especially since all the characters in the story apparently knew this, and didn't tell Andile until later. Not all the supporting characters liked Thuli, so keeping the information to themselves did not make sense.
Andile is portrayed as a hard-working, yet struggling actor who has his own issues. He is likeable from the start, and comes across as the more human character. His issues and character traits are well portrayed in his behaviour towards the other characters, and shown rather than told. His inner dialogue also supports the behaviour he exhibits towards Thuli and the supporting characters.
Andile and Thuli's first meeting seemed to be the typical boy meets girl, they don't like each other and then fall in love kind of scenario. Their impressions of each other and interactions between them was reflected in their thoughts afterwards, instead of more focus being given to their actual dialogue and interaction.
There were several other characters in the story, and in some scenes I felt that their contributions were not supporting the main plot in moving the story forward. The scenes between Thuli and Andile could have been longer and more intense in some cases, instead of sacrificing words and scenes to have some of other characters in the story. This includes the love/sex scenes between the two main characters.
The sex/love scenes might have been edited to suit the publisher, to reduce the level of heat intended by the author. These scenes still felt too short for two people who had been desiring each other for a while. There was also very little emotion in these scenes and a lot more focus was given to the act itself.
The use of non-English words in the story was not too much and contributed to the local ethnic feel of the setting and the characters.
The opening of the story was well done. By the time Thuli gets to the small coffee shop, you feel just as hot, irritated and tired as she did.
The ending was done in such a way that it suited the style of the story, with a fairly satisfying result to tie up their happily ever after.
Overall the story was likeable and I read the whole thing in one sitting.
MY RATING of The Seeing Place