Boitumelo Vero Rikhotso

Destined for greatness!

Not a penny more, Not a penny less (Jeffrey Archer) September 25, 2018

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Penny

Pages: 336, Pan Macmillan, First issue: 1976. Review based on 2012 edition. ISBN: 978-1-4472-7231-1

I almost gave up on this book a couple of pages in. The first couple of pages are heavily technical with detailed explanations and comments on the stock market and economics. Although these are subjects I have an interest in, since I wanted to read for pleasure and to relax while on vacation, the book was kind of heavy for me to begin with. But on a 15 hour flight, with other books in my checked in luggage, I decided to hold on a bit more. My patience was well rewarded.

 

Four men are swindled out of their money by a smart self-made millionaire stork market trader who’s been doing it for years (not always above board) without being caught. Harvey Metcalfe has a rags to riches story of one who worked his way up and paid more attention than most of us ever do and managed to build himself an empire while at it. He manages through other people, to ‘steal’ a million dollars from four random strangers by getting them to invest in a loser company ‘Prospecta Oil’ which never opens shop. One day they are on the brink of riches with the company about to apparently ‘hit an oil rig,’ and overnight, their shares are worthless with Harvey Metcalfe at large without as much as a warning. The book centres around the quad’s sophisticated plan to beat Harvey at his own game and get all their money back, quietly and expertly – not a penny more, and not a penny less. What a treat!

 

Jeffrey Archer is a phenomenal writer. The plot, the characterization and the flow of the book is excellent. His use of language is simple yet specifically fitting for each character. He gave each character a distinct repertoire while they were executing an excellently drafted plan of action for each one. The ending has an unexpected twist which made it worth the first pages of slog I endured. Simply exceptional.

 

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The 30th Candle (Angela Makholwa) September 15, 2015

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2009, Macmillan,
ISBN: 978-1-77010-356-6, Pages: 304

For my 10 and a half hour trip to Frankfurt, Germany, I took Angela Makholwa’s The 30th Candle for company. I read the first few pages and put the book down. It didn’t sound all too interesting. I then tucked into my dinner and paged through the entertainment menu on offer in case I couldn’t get into the book again. After failing to fall asleep, I decided to pick the book up again and give it another bash – and Ahoy! We were off!!!

The book chronicles the lives of four girlfriends and how they feel about turning the big 30! It is not easy for a writer to keep the authenticity of each individual characters but I think that’s one thing that Makholwa managed to do well in this book. Although the character Linda is more prominent, I think Makholwa managed to give each girl her own space to shine. She was able to give each character their own personality through and through. Just like in any group of more than two people, there are a number of cliques in this group which makes the story interesting as one unravels which cliques keeps which secret between them.

There is Linda who is the non-relationship committal workaholic TV producer type who seems to be this group’s glue as all have a relationship with her. Then there is Nolwazi who’s the closest to Linda, a fashion designer with a damming secret that threatens to break this group apart. Sade is a girl with an ugly past who has since turned a new leaf but keeps getting reminded of her past sins by her ‘perfect’ husband whom she has put on a pedestal until the most despicable thing is discovered about him. And then lastly there is the Psychologist Dikeledi who represents so many girls’ struggles with regards to decisions about men.

The girls go through a lot of challenges together and although they have a lot of instances that threaten to break their friendship apart, at the end of it all, they are there for one another. This is basically a story about a group of girls who survive life together and are real about what they feel which isn’t always common in the real world. So bar a few slow start pages, the rest of the book was captivating and graphic with lots of secrets and a lot of fun girl-talk.

I really enjoyed the book and will check out her other two books; Red Ink and Black Widow Society.

Buy the book here