Writing like that greatest bottle of wine, getting us drunk on the trickery of words

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Kirsten Miller's All That is Left. Picture: Supplied
Kirsten Miller's All That is Left. Picture: Supplied

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I read All That is Left during the lockdown and wrote this review as it was extended. A dear friend of mine who has been married for more than 10 years had never spent more than five hours a day – excluding sleeping hours – with his wife before the lockdown. This friend confessed to losing his sanity after spending more than 12 hours of the day with his beautiful wife. He’d had enough. He reminded me of Thomas from the novel, who needs to get away from that which he confesses to love.

Miller’s writing has matured like that greatest bottle of wine, getting us drunk on the trickery of her words. In All That is Left she lays a minefield in the story of Thomas, Rachel and Max, who were raised with all the privileges and protection of the apartheid system and have made a mark, influenced and conquered life. Thomas’ friends – Lucas, whose mother was a maid to Thomas’ family, and Sizwe, a poor poet working odd jobs to maintain himself and his mother – grew up on the receiving end of apartheid injustices.

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