Outside the Lines

Ameera Patel. Catalyst, $15.95 trade paper (168p) ISBN 978-1-946395-35-1
Set in contemporary Johannesburg, South Africa, playwright and actor Patel’s exceptional debut is told by five narrators of different races and religions, whose paths cross in unexpected ways. Cathleen Joseph, the sly, drug-addled teenage daughter of a once well-to-do family, enters the terrifying world of addiction; meanwhile, her ineffectual father, Frank, sinks deeper into depression. Flora, the Josephs’ maid, is attracted to handsome, silent housepainter Runyararo, and begins to reexamine the part she has played in the lives of her employers. Runyararo, who recently arrived from Zimbabwe and whose goal is to send money back home to his family, is on the lowest societal rung and an easy target for exploitation. Farhana, who’s the girlfriend of Flora’s son, Zee, and has “dimples deep enough to hide secrets,” must find a way to reconcile her Muslim beliefs with a future made uncertain by her being pregnant with Zee’s child. One lie alters the lives of all of them, leading to a brutal, impulsive act of rage. Patel displays an exceptional ability to plumb the depths of her characters, each of whose points of view throws light on the realities of the other narrators. Rays of hope and gentle overtures to love lift this vibrant novel. (June)
Reviewed on : 04/06/2020
Release date: 06/09/2020
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 210 pages - 978-1-928215-13-4
Paperback - 210 pages - 978-1-928215-12-7
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