Friday 4 August 2017

Friday Books - Johannesburg

Where has the week gone? Too much work, too little reading, that's where.

BookBeginnings, hosted by Rose City Readerand The Friday 56 - hosted by Freda’s Voice both host sites for Friday link ups, where we discover more books, and make friends. Both involve sharing excerpts from a current book - the beginning and - you guessed it - page 56.

I've finished this one already. Here's  the Goodreads blurb:

Johannesburg by Fiona Melrose

Gin has returned home from New York to throw a party for her mother's eightieth birthday; a few blocks away, at the Residence, Nelson Mandela's family prepares to announce Tata Mandela's death...

So begins Johannesburg, Fiona Melrose's searing second novel. Responsive to Virginia Woolf's Mrs Dalloway, the story follows a polyphonic course across a single day, culminating in a party and traces the fractures and connections of the city.

An irascible mother, a daughter trying to negotiate her birthplace and the people from her past, a homeless hunchback who takes his fight for justice to the doors of a mining company, a mining magnate, a man still haunted by his first love, the domestic workers who serve this cast and populate the neighbourhood, a troubled novelist called Virginia - these are the characters who give voice to the city on a day hot with nerves and tension and history.

Johannesburg is a profound hymn to an extraordinary city, and a devastating personal and political manifesto on love.

The perfect opening. Johannesburg, in December - this book plays out on a single day in 2013, when Mandela died - is renowned for its thunderstorms. So much atmosphere in two short sentences.

I loved this book. I love this city. I read it also in a single day, and enjoyed every minute.  Here's my review.

Thanks for the visit. What are you sharing today? 


Roberta said...

Fascinating approach to the story. I like books with a strong setting/sense of place. Glad you enjoyed it.

Nicki J. Markus / Asta Idonea said...

This sounds fascinating. I'll have to check it out.

Juli Rahel said...

Oh wow, I literally read this book yesterday, in one sitting! I have so many South African friends here now I was dying to read about Johannesburg and just like you I really liked this book! I'll definitely go check out your review :) Thanks for sharing and I hope you have an amazing weekend!
My Friday post
Juli @  A Universe in Words

Elza Reads said...

I saw you featured this one earlier this week! Yes, I will look into it. Sounds super great and close to home.

Hope you have a good weekend Bev and here's my Friday Meets:

Lauren Stoolfire said...

Very interesting! Happy reading. :)

Lauren @ Always Me

Katherine P said...

Intriguing! This is definitely a different setting for me and I really love the sound of it. I haven't come across this one before and am adding to my TBR pile. Thanks for sharing!

Laurel-Rain Snow said...

Great excerpts and premise! I want to know more, now. Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

Lisa Ks Book Reviews said...

I'm happy you enjoyed it. The cover just doesn't appeal to me, so if I saw it on the shelf I would have passed it by. I'd love for you and your readers to check out mine. I have something yummy as always!

fredamans said...

Such a poignant 56! I love it, and would definitely read this book! Happy weekend!

Unknown said...

This sounds like one of those books that sinks its hooks into you. Thanks for sharing:)

My Friday 56 from The Forever Man

Kathy Martin said...

Sounds interesting although it isn't the kind of story I'd usually be drawn to. I have Dead Man's Bridge by Robert J. Mrazek this week. Happy reading!

Gilion at Rose City Reader said...

Sounds like a good book. I want to go find out more.

Thanks for sharing the opening on BBOF! Although it would have been a fun coincidence if you had also shared The Nix!