I'm on a bit of technology sabbatical at the moment and I have a glorious stack of books that I'm working through instead of watching TV or scrolling endlessly through fb and pinterest. Top of the pile was this novel recently released by Hachette NZ.
I really enjoy the opportunity to select books for reviewing as it extends my reading and introduces me to new authors.
The Last Debutante by Lesley Lokko is one such book.
It covers a time period from 1936-1963 bookended in 2014. Unlike my mother, who loves anything to do with WW2 history, I tend to avoid books about war (the trauma of the reality tends to undo me). I'm glad I departed from that rule for this book.
The book covers the coming of age of Kit and the extraordinary circumstances that make her the daughter, woman, wife, mother and grandmother she will become. While other characters enter the story the spotlight belongs solely to Kit - a woman of remarkable character, talent and tenacity.
There are some difficult parts in the story but they are not gratuitously drawn out. Ultimately the story is about families - the ways they influence the people we become, the secrets they keep and the secrets they keep from each other.
Initially I found this book difficult to get into, it felt a little laboured, but I am glad I persevered. I really enjoyed it in the end. It's nice to explore the whole trajectory of a character's life and how they both stay true to the path and wander far from it to new, unexpected places.
Details: Hachette NZ, January 2017, RRP$34.99 EBK $19.99
love you more than a massive stack of 'to read' books xxxx