Saturday’s Book: “The Rights of Desire” by Brink

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And to think I almost didn’t read this book!

I picked it up at the “readers-give-readers” corner at our library but it remained on the bookshelf while I read other books first. Not only had I  never heard of the South African author,  the title and the cover weren’t particularly appealing. It clearly wasn’t what once was called a “10 cent paperback” but the book didn’t appear particularly appealing either.

As they say, appearances are misleading. I’m now ready to read any book by Brink I can find, and I understand he wrote several.

The style of writing had me hooked by page one. The main character is a former librarian and the book is full of references to other books, in addition to moving paragraphs about the degree in which books can make a difference in a person’s life.

The setting is in post-apartheid Cape Town, South Africa, though the story weaves past, distant past (there’s a ghost!) and present. All turbulent times in different ways.

And yes, there is desire, lust, love or lack of it, from different perspectives. Don’t expect any “saccharine coating” here, but there is tenderness along with reality.

A wholly unpredictable book.

I’m so glad I read it.

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