Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Book Review: The Crooked Path by Irma Joubert

The Crooked Path is written by Irma Joubert and is published by Thomas Nelson.

I am a huge Irma Joubert fan. If you haven't heard of her, you should know that she is South African and her books by Thomas Nelson are translated into English. You should also know that the majority of her characters are South African. But don't let that intimidate you.

In The Crooked Path, Irma Joubert takes the reader back to South Africa to visit favorite characters from her previous novel, Child of the River. Beginning with World War II, things are happening around the world, especially in Italy, where Marco Romanelli meets his beloved Rachel and risks his life to save her and her family from the Nazis. Lettie Louw is an overweight young girl who watches the boy she loves fall for another girl, one of Lettie's good friends. As the war ravages, Lettie pursues her dream of becoming a doctor and taking over the family practice while Marco wastes away in a concentration camp.

After the war, Lettie loses weight and builds self-esteem while Marco, wasting away physically because of what he had to endure decides to move to South Africa. Marco and Lettie find happiness in each other, but life is not always full of happy endings.

This novel satisfies. I love how Joubert expertly weaves a story that is complex and not just an easy read. It is rife with history, some of which has helped me to understand the rest of the world's past and not just my little corner in North America. Joubert does not just make everything a pretty picture, either. Real life is hard and so it is for the characters in The Crooked Path. Not everyone gets a happily ever after ending. And that's okay because the reality is so very well woven into the imaginary that the reader is left feeling that things are as they should be.

I hope Irma Joubert keeps writing and that subsequent novels are translated. She's that good.

*I received a copy of The Crooked Path in exchange for my honest opinion. My thoughts are my own.*

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