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Carrot! Arja Salafranca on Marriage Vows

Marriage Vowsgail0770.jpgSome weeks ago at the press lunch celebrating the launch of Johannesburg lawyer Gail Schimmel’s debut novel, Marriage Vows, I listened in on an animated discussion about the book, wishing I’d read it and could participate. Based on the journalists’ evident enthusiasm for the book, it went onto my “must read” list.

Reviewer Arja Salafranca takes a line similar to one I overheard. To wit: “This is not a simple tale, although it is simply told. Marriage Vows… is as nuanced and layered as, well, yes a 10-tier wedding cake.”

In Salafranca’s analysis, strong craftsmanship weaves an engaging, seamless story. She concludes her review with the highest praise a first-time author could hope for: “…I look forward to reading her next novel”.

The novel moves between past and present, alternating between Jordi’s 55th birthday and the memories of her life with Hal, and their two children, now grown, and the meeting with Nico. In London on a business trip, her husband and children back in Johannesburg, she meets the man who will haunt her.

Jordi kept me reading right till the end; she is a strong, yet heart-breaking character. Schimmel has painted her portrait in vivid strokes.

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