‘London started it all very well, Cape Town was a good intermediary, and now this hustler town, this City of Gold, is giving us a new lease on love and life.’

Genre: Fiction, African Literature

Published: January 1, 2014

Pages: 338

Rate: 3.5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

The world is about to change. The first truly democratic election in South Africa’s history is about to unite Nelson Mandela’s rainbow nation at the ballot box. And, across the world, those in exile, those who could not return home, those who would not return home, wait. Watch and wait . . .
Martin O’Malley isn’t one of those watching and waiting. He is too busy trying to figure out if Germaine Spencer really is the girl for him and why his best friend is intent on ruining every relationship he gets involved in. And then . . . And then Germaine is pregnant and suddenly the world really has changed for Martin O’Malley.
South Africa
A land of opportunity. A place where a young black man with an MSc from the London School of Economics could have it all, would have it all. But what does Martin O’Malley, London born and bred with an Irish surname, really know about his mother’s country? His motherland. A land he has never seen.

My Take

I finished reading London Cape Town Joburg a while ago and I have to say, I quite enjoyed it. I read it first back in 2018 and I honestly couldn’t remember much so a reread was due.

I found the writing quite simple and easy to get through which ended up being a page turner. It kept me reading and the short chapters were a plus too! The story flows so well. I am always in awe of authors who start the book with the ending and are able to maintain the attention of the reader throughout. This was the case for me with this book. I loved watching the story unfold. With the author taking me through the motions that led to the happenings of the ending. It was so well done!

I loved the characters. I loved how they are developed. There is clear and significant growth to them, both the main and the secondary characters, that adds to the story telling which I really appreciated.

‘But I knew,too, that life was not the idealised vision we wanted it to be.’

I did find some parts quite overdone and quite unbelievable and that distracted me from the story on and off. The ending was quite abrupt too. It felt unfinished and left me annoyed. Mostly because there is promise of more from the beginning. There are sentiments shared by the characters that had me side eyeing them much, almost to the point of judgement. I found them lacking.

London Cape Town Joburg is a good book to read in between heavy ones. It’s a 50-50 book in my opinion. You may like it or not. It’s not a guarantee. This was also my first Zukiswa Wanner book but not my last, I am curious enough to want to read more.

Have you read this book? What did you think  about it?