“I went jogging on the morning that I died.” As soon as I read the opening sentence of Nadine Rose Larter’s novel I was hooked. Although there are clues from the outset– we know that it’s Thursday, we know that the jogger, Phillip lives in a small town. We don’t know where that town is but we know that the location doesn’t matter. “I’m not going to tell you where I’m from because it doesn’t matter. These small towns are all the same anyway”. We know that Phillip is young (twenties), has a partner – Sarah – we suspect that he was troubled or perhaps depressed – “These towns all carry the same overtone of desperation and the overwhelming sense of lost dreams” — but we don’t know why or whether that might be a factor in his death.
We learn that he was one of a group of high school friends whose stories are part of his story and we suspect that the story will be interesting. “The colour in my life exists because I live in this small town, where there is no choice but to be colourful”.
So by the end of the first chapter, we are already curious about these other people, their relationship to Phillip and how his death may impact on them. We’re also curious about how Phillip died – was it an accident or was someone else involved?
Nadine Rose Larter has cast her line, secured a nibble, and is poised to reel in her readers. There is something very satisfying about a well crafted novel. It allows the reader to relax and to trust in the skill of the storyteller. Coffee at Little Angels is a well-crafted novel that most readers will be able to relate to. The plot is strong and the various strands of it are sensitively interwoven. Characters are well drawn and believable and their intersecting relationships are interesting.
I received a review copy Coffee at Little Angels from the author and read it in PDF form on a laptop which is not my preferred reading experience. The fact that I read it in a single sitting (three and a half hours) and thoroughly enjoyed it is a sure compliment to the author, Nadine Rose Larter. For more information on Nadine and her work, see www.katalina.co.za
A free review copy was provided by the author. I have not received any other remuneration for this review.