Cover Image: Evening Primrose

Evening Primrose

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Member Reviews

Kopano Matlwa writes with powerful prose about the personal ramifications of immigration. The writing is mature and intimate, and the story, written as a journal, has a big impact.
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This is more a novella than a novel but there's a lot to chew on here.  For those unfamiliar with South Africa, it's educational in so many ways.  Masechaba has a lot of issues, not always under her control, to contend with as she grows into herself. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.  This is one I admired more than enjoyed and recommend it as a wonderful opportunity to read a new voice.
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I have received an ARC of this book from net galley in exchange for a review.  A poetic and heartfelt story written in a series of journal entries, Evening Primrose provides a narrative to the true sorrows, joys and struggles for Masechaba as she navigates lifes obstacles of gender and race as she aspires to become a physician in the South African medical system.  This author helps you truly feel the story through her words.
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This was my first jump into African Literature. Masechaba's story is much like many other South African's life experiences of immigration and services for the public. Xenophobia is a strong force in the communities. My reasoning for three stars is that Kopano Matlwa's writing style is incredible. However, the story itself leaves you wanting more. You want to know what's going to happen next in her story and the delivery is just not up to par.
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I think I may have highlighted 90% of this book. The writing here painful and honest. In trying to explain this book to someone else I feel I failed miserably and did not do this book justice.

The copy may make this sound like a sort of Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret but set in South Africa and that couldn't be more wrong. This book is dark and gritty and so very real. The main character struggles with so many things, juggling problems and battling demons on a daily basis. She attempts to keep her sanity by journaling and partially addressing her writing to her God while asking him why he allows these terrible things to happen to both herself and others daily.

Honestly I was not ready for the depth of this book. I was not ready to read about what happened to this character and how she dealt with it after. When faced with those initial passages my jaw dropped and my heart sank. How could this happen to her? How did no one notice? How does a human working in a hospital spending her time saving others fail to be saved or even seen by her coworkers? 

Really I am still processing all of the feelings this has presented me with. 

I cannot stress enough how much I enjoyed this raw, brutal style of writing. This was a powerful read that will haunt me forever.
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