At the end of April, I won a book.

The book that I won is Kwaito Love by Lauri Kubuitsile. It’s a romance novella published by Sapphire Press, a new imprint of Kwela Books.

The book took a month to arrive. I was beginning to wonder whether it would ever come. But, as it turned out, its timing was perfect. Because the morning after its arrival brought news that heralded a difficult week for me. It was so hard that by the end I decided to take two days off from my connection to the world – my computer. (More about that tomorrow.)

With all the extra time, I sat in my garden and relaxed with this sweet story that’s completely removed from anything I know. It’s set in South Africa, and describes a world where traditional food includes vetkoek or makwinya – depending on the language being spoken, where women of twenty-four are too young to marry, where family ties are very strong and where the worst problems are caused by misunderstandings.

No doubt the last item in my list is not always true of this place, but in the world described in this story, that’s all there is. And that’s what drew me to this beautiful, well-written story: its ability to distract my mind from all my worries and transport me to a world where the love between two people is the only thing that really matters.

The heroine of this story is called Mpho (pronounced M-Po) and Lauri tells me the name means a gift. The book was certainly a beautiful gift to me. Thank you, Lauri!

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