Thursday, June 22, 2006

'Where the Heart is' (Marita van der Vyver)

Marita van der Vyver’s Where the Heart is is like a pretty cake tin filled with slices of life. And I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed a book (or indeed, a cake) this much.

With delicious tales about realities that resonate with everyone, like renovations, strikes and the quest for food colouring, the book offers a taste of life in Provence.

It is also full of unexpected humour. When I read this little gem, my shoulders shook with such uncontrollable mirth that I woke the sleeping man at my side:

“In French Alain is pronounced Aláng, Thomas is Tommah and Hugo is Ighó. Try and explain that to your uncle in Upington. My friend Koos gave up after three days and started calling Alain Elaine. Alain still calls Koos Quees.”

Formerly Die Hart van ons Huis, Where the Heart is doesn’t read like a translation – instead featuring beautiful English flavoured with whimsical Joanne Harris-type ingredients.

Not only a delightful book to read, it’s a wonderful book to own.

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