Locally flavoured romance

2010-10-13 00:00

THE moment I started reading this book, I just could not put it down.

At the beginning we are introduced to the 18-year-old Lathoya Mthathi, who escapes her Eastern Cape rural homestead because of ukuthwala (being married off/arranged marriage).

She elopes to Cape Town where she eventually becomes a successful supermodel. While back from Milan Fashion Week, she meets Siso Masilela, who is a handsome magazine editor, and we are into the boy-meets-girl-and-they-fall-in-love story. However, they struggle to maintain their romantic relationship. There has to be some plot, after all.

The author behind this Mills and Boon-style romantic novel is the 19-year-old Fezile Cokile from the Eastern Cape. It is published under the new romance imprint of Kwela Books, Sapphire Press, which is introducing romantic novels with a local element set in familiar places and referring to the traditions that take place in our country.

Having said that, it was a great read. There were some events in the book that were too clichéd and predictable, and the author’s use of over-descriptive verbs sometimes distracted my attention. However, I am still looking forward to reading more novels from Sapphire Press, such as Kwaito Love and Cherry Marbles.

There is a big romance market here, and a local flavour is welcome.

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