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But Can You Drink The Water? (Droll, witty, and utterly British) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 366 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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"Depth of Lies" by E. C. Diskin
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I liked this very much. The Turners are leaving Liverpool for the promise of a better paying job and therefore a better lifestyle, in South Africa. Like most westerners, this conjures up images of animals and mayhem...Mavis Turner remarks on landing at the airport that she's surprised the plane didnt hit any elephants! Maybe because I lived in England, I could hear the characters speak; sounded a bit like they were very working class and having been to Liverpool, I bet their accents were just as hard to understand as Mr. Grobler's. The colloquialisms e.g. "our Gerry" are well placed and help to ground the characters. While I am ambivalent towards them, they are realistic - the anxious father wanting to do right by his family, the classless mother wanting to one-up everyone else in her family who thinks she's cheap and the surly teenage son, mohawk and all. I wonder what happens to them in South AFrica - do they stay the whole 5 years? Does Mr. Turner lose patience with his wife? Do they all come away from the experience with a changed perspective of Africa and its people? Does Gerry, the son end up with an African girlfriend What shock, what horror!
My only concern is that for those who are not used to British (or Liverpudlian) accents, some of the language may seem odd and perhaps, the author might want to give some context to the background of the Turners.
When Frank accepted a contract to work 5 years in Africa, he expected his family would be pleased with the surprised. How was he to know that his wife Mavis would pitch an absolute fit, or that his teenage son Gerry would retaliate with a Mohawk haircut? But they're stuck with it now, and all they can do is make the best of Africa - even if it isn't the rolling savannah of grass and lions that they had expected.
The beautifully packed prose of this excerpt is dense with description and meaning. This isn't really a light novel to pick up and put back down - every page demands the reader's attention, as you savor the text. Or perhaps that impression was given because I was unused to some of the British colloquialisms in the text. However, this density of meaning is not a bad thing, and the characters will stick with you long after you set the novel down.
Although, if I may make a small suggestion it is that Frank and Mavis start off as terribly unsympathetic and become more vulnerable and likable as the story progresses. This is a good trick, but you run the risk that their initial un-likeability may scare off some readers. You might play up why Frank took this contract (outside of sheer opportunism), such as a need to make more money, or a desire to give his family better things, or maybe just a hope that getting out of their comfort zone might bring his family closer together; Mavis could have similar motivations mentioned early on.
Overall, I enjoyed this excerpt and would like to read more.
~ Ana Mardoll
This excerpt was dedicated to developing the characters and main plot line yet didn't drag on or prove uninteresting. I can see the Turners as real and definitely want to know how life in Africa is for them.
I have to say the title didn't attract me. I only read it after another quarterfinalist recommended it in a thread. Now that I've read it, I'm glad I did and I can see where the title came from, but initially it wasn't one that captured me.
Overall though, I enjoyed it. After reading the excerpt, I can say it's something I would buy.
Most recent customer reviews
What memories and pictures it evoked. And we laughed!Read more