Book review: Evening Primrose by Kopano Matlwa

'When Masechaba finally achieves her childhood dream of becoming a doctor, her ambition is tested as she faces the stark reality of South Africa's public healthcare system.

As she leaves her deeply religious mother and makes friends with the politically-minded Nyasha, Masechaba's eyes are opened to the rising xenophobic tension that carries echoes of apartheid.

Battling her inner demons, she must decide if she should take a stand to help her best friend, even it comes at a high personal cost.'

Written in the style of a journal this is a powerful read that follows Masechaba as she trains and qualifies as a doctor in South Africa.

We get insight into the health system as Masechaba struggles to do a good job with limited resources and also of the race and xenophobic tensions that she finds herself the centre of, after befriending a fellow doctor from Zimbabwe who opens her eyes to the politics and gives her motivation to try and do something about it- with devastating consequences.   

The book was a short quick read, but quite an intense one. I really felt for Masechaba and what she was going through and often it was hearth breaking to read. The book was beautifully written- I felt like the journal/ diary style added a certain intimacy to it- I was reading the innermost thoughts of this woman as she spoke frankly about her life. 

I highly recommend this book, it gave me an insight into a country I don't know a great deal about and also brought an important female voice to fiction- a marginalised woman facing her demons and rising above them.

Evening Primrose is out in hardback on the 27 July, you can buy a copy here

*Thanks to Veronique at Hoddar for providing me with a copy of this book for a honest review.

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