Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme that was started by @Lauren’s Page Turners. This meme is quite easy to follow – just randomly pick a book from your to-be-read list and give the reasons why you want to read it. It is that simple.
This week’s book:
The Promise by Damon Galgut
Blurb from Goodreads
The Promise charts the crash and burn of a white South African family, living on a farm outside Pretoria. The Swarts are gathering for Ma’s funeral. The younger generation, Anton and Amor, detest everything the family stand for — not least the failed promise to the Black woman who has worked for them her whole life. After years of service, Salome was promised her own house, her own land… yet somehow, as each decade passes, that promise remains unfulfilled.
The narrator’s eye shifts and blinks: moving fluidly between characters, flying into their dreams; deliciously lethal in its observation. And as the country moves from old deep divisions to its new so-called fairer society, the lost promise of more than just one family hovers behind the novel’s title.
In this story of a diminished family, sharp and tender emotional truths hit home. Confident, deft and quietly powerful, The Promise is literary fiction at its finest.
‘Gorgeous and pleasurable’ Tessa Hadley
‘The most important book of the last ten years’ Edmund White
‘Simply: you must read it’ Claire Messud
Why I Want To Read It
Happy first day of the week everyone! Happy first Monday of October! Time sure does fly fast; I still fell like it was just March 2020 yesterday. The pandemic sure did reset our concept of time. I do remember this funny meme about how it is already October 2021 but “I” am still processing March 2020. HAHA. It did really make me laugh although it belies the ugliness of reality we are facing right now. Nevertheless, I hope, wherever you are in the world, that you are doing well, physically, and mentally. It has been a tough two and half years but we are still managing to survive. I can’t wait for the day we can all go out and talk over coffee; those were the days. But hey, hope still springs eternal!
With Monday comes another Goodreads Monday update. In the past weeks, I have been featuring works nominated for the 2021 Booker Prize. Surprise! This week is no different. HAHA. I have just completed Nadifa Mohamed’s The Fortune (my fourth from the shortlist) and I am about to start Sunjeev Sahota’s China Room (my seventh overall). Both have been featured in my Goodreads Monday updates so I will feature a book that I will receive in couple of weeks (along with Richard Powers’ Bewilderment). Damon Galgut’s The Promise. Reading all thirteen books before the year ends is becoming more likely but I don’t want to raise my hopes up.
Honestly, apart from Kazuo Ishiguro, I have never encountered any of the other twelve authors in this year’s longlist although I did encounter Lockwood and Spufford while searching for books to include in my 2021 Books I Look Forward To List. It is for this reason that I am looking forward to The Promise and what Galgut has to offer. Moreover, I have encountered several positive feedback on the book, further piquing my interest. I am even more stoked as it has been announced as one of six books in the shortlist. It is also a combination of two genres I like – historical and family saga.
Upon searching more about Galgut, I have learned that he has quite the literary resume. He is a renowned playwright and that The Promise is his Booker Prize shortlisted work! The first one was in 2003 for The Good Doctor, followed by In a Strange Room in 2010. Wow! Maybe third time’s a charm? I hope Galgut and the rest of the shortlisted novelist the best. I am crossing my fingers, that I will be able to read all six novels in the shortlist before the winner gets announced on November 3. How about you fellow reader? Which 2021 Booker Prize shortlisted novel is on your reading list? What made you add it to your list? I hope you could share your answers in the comment box. For now, have a happy Monday and a great week ahead!