The Back of the Book: The surviving child had survived again … Why had I been spared now, when the last two carjack victims in this hospital had not? When my own brother had not ..? I hesitated even to put shape to the idea forming in my head. Was there a divine purpose that required my life be spared?
South African journalist Monica Brunetti had it all – promising career, loving family, marriage-minded boyfriend. Then, a life-changing encounter with evil landed her in a hospital bed next to gregarious, charismatic Ella Nkhoma, whose wit and caring challenged Monica’s worldview. Their remarkable friendship would lead Monica far from the gated white suburbs, and toward a parting that left both women transformed …
Set against the dynamic patchwork of South Africa, The Road to Home is an inspiring story of love, courage and everyday miracles.
NotJustLaura’s Review: I’m sure I tried to read this book some months ago but cast it aside as the opening painted such an unlikely scenario. Monica is a (white) journalist in South Africa. She is shot during a car-jacking and, while lying on the road waiting for her attacker to finish her off (he doesn’t) she starts thinking God must have saved her for a special purpose. As far as I could gather, she had no particular faith prior to the shooting and I just couldn’t accept the ‘sudden divine revelation’ premise the book appeared to hang on.
Now, I usually get rid of books as soon as I’ve read them. They find new owners via BookMooch or find their way to the local charity shops or to the free bookshelf at Beanscene. For some reason, however, this book has hung around the house refusing to leave and I gave in a few days ago and decided to read it. Fortunately, I’d marked the place where I’d previously given up so I went from there.
Monica wakes up in hospital. She’s shocked to find that it’s a black hospital. At the time of the novel, apartheid has ended but hospitals (and other places) still have a strong bias towards black or white. And this is where the story really takes off. Monica finds herself re-evaluating her attitudes as she makes friends with some of the other patients. The rest of the book tracks this mental transformation as it plays out in her life.
And I really enjoyed it. The author is, according to the blurb, working on a sequel which I intend to seek out. And The Road to Home still won’t be leaving – I’m going to offer it to my mother who visited South Africa a while back.