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TIME OUT (article first published : 2006-09-24)

Marita van der Vyver has long been known and enjoyed as one of South Africa's leading authors. Her first adult novel Griet Skryf 'n Sprokie was a local bestseller and sold around the world in numerous translations. Further successes have followed and her new novel, Time Out was recently launched.

In it, Hester Human, her teenage son and her architect husband spend a year in Provence renovating their home. But their stay is tainted by the death of their little daughter and sister, killed in a shooting incident just before they left Cape Town, leaving each of them to struggle with their own anguish. Her son is wracked by guilt for not protecting his sister; her husband withdraws completely into the renovation project.

Hester has only the memories of her little daughter. And the letters she writes to the Congolese woman Myriam Sono, jailed in France for murdering the children she could no longer care for. In their shared grief Hester finds relief. And comfort in the knowledge that there are others whose situation is far worse.

Time Out is a gripping story about overcoming loss. Told through a rich variety of characters and subplots and drawing on issues topical to both the French and African reality, it reaffirms Marita van der Vyver's status as one of South Africa’s most entertaining novelists.

Time Out is published by Tafelberg Publishers and retails at R160. It is available in both English and Afrikaans at Adams Musgrave.




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