The Bigger Fish.
Review by Polly White
Magdel Roets bravely wrote this empowering novella, ‘The Bigger Fish’ suitable for a young adult audience. The subtle, quick read of ten chapters sensitively raises awareness of real issues that confront students daily. Her message is hopeful but not naive. The theme is about surviving drug addiction. Four main characters support one another through thick and thin. Their belief is championed, despite difficult histories. Joni has a talented artistic roommate called Liza. The two young women are excited to be free to study and have a good time. Sadly, they have both been sexually exploited. University offers new beginnings but poor self esteem haunts Liza, who then uses hard drugs as an unhealthy crutch. The more studious Joni stands by her friend who is making the mistake of falling for a pusher called Tommy. Quintin is Tommy’s long suffering step brother trying to get him through rehab with the help from church and health support services. Fate brings three disaffected young adults together while the church youth leader, Quintin leads them to God. Faith eventually unites them. Redemption and forgiveness are entwined in this authentic story that is not entirely happily ever after. The reader cannot help connect with these student’s adventures and their ‘it’s never too late’ message. I wrote a novel on student grooming called ‘What If I Go?’ so understand the level of dedication taken to research this sensitive topic. I highly recommend this as an essential heads up forewarning for those young adults anticipating soon leaving for college.
Review on My Father’s Will:
Elsabe de Beer: ****
Baie dankie vir jou boek, ek het dit vreeslik geniet, so ‘n diep en lewensverrykende boek
” ‘n Diep, innige boek wat baie lewensverrykend is. ‘n Moet lees vir enige boekliefhebber! Baie dankie vir jou boek, ek het dit vreeslik geniet, so ‘n diep en lewensverrykende boek. ” ‘n Diep, innige boek wat baie lewensverrykend is. ‘n Moet lees vir enige boekliefhebber!”
Review within fourteen days of purchase.
A review by B A Smith:
My Father’s Will is a Christian-themed novel about a dysfunctional South African family, the Hammonds. Although each of his adult children feels differently about his or her father, the commonality is anger for what is seen as Stephan Hammond’s long-ago abandonment of his family. Even in the face of his death, unresolved emotions make it difficult to let go of that anger. Nonetheless, regardless of their feelings, each hopes to benefit from their wealthy father’s will, as they had from their mother’s, after her death.
The main protagonist of Roets’s novel is Francine Hammond, a successful artist with a good head for business. After her mother’s death, she had found papers that revealed her carefully kept secret. What readers quickly learn is that a secret doesn’t remain buried but, instead, shows its face in unexpected ways. Francine fails to share her mother’s secret with anyone, but as a result of that knowledge is motivated to rebuild her relationship with her father, who soon before his death makes arrangements putting her at odds with her siblings. Contributing to the Hammonds’ dysfunction is their acquisition of great wealth: most of Stephan Hammond’s children attempt to replace emotional trauma with things, things, and more things—planes, boats, homes, drugs, lovers. What is the role of a seemingly unlimited supply of money? The author traces the answer to that question as she follows the painful dissolution of the Hammonds’ lives, not only those of the adult children, but also those of their children.
Roets shows us that family secrets typically do harm in unexpected ways, as children tend to heap blame on themselves for something that is beyond their control. The author effectively establishes her premise that it is through religion one will find the peace and social support necessary to rid an individual of his or her demons. If I have any reservations, it was the need for further proofing. Those concerns, however, did not deter me from reading what could be characterized as a South African “Cozy” that flowed easily from the beginning.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
A review by Ica Iova:
Stephan Howard Hammond worked hard to build his multi-million Rand Company, and though he loved his children, he was certain that once he’s gone they will misuse their inheritance. So he found a trusted person to take over the company before his death and ensure his children’s future. His decision, however, changed them all in different ways.
Easy money means nothing when someone is irresponsible. You watch people inherit large sums of money, or win the lottery, only to be broke soon after. The way people handle easy money can be very different. Some spend it wisely, others go wild believing there is no end to it; some learn from their own mistakes, others don’t. This so often happens in real life and the author conveyed it very well in My Father’s Will.
This book is a cautionary tale to those who came, or are about come in contact with easy money.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)