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Romance novels can be predictable and, as a result, uninteresting. The Seeing Place by South African author Aziza Eden Walker is an exception to the rule, providing more than the average romance, in terms of storyline.
The story follows rich entrepreneur and socialite Thuli Poni as she flies to Cape Town from her comfortable life in Johannesburg to start working on her newest project. In the middle of the bustling Long Street Festival, she meets Andile Sebe, a struggling actor from the heart of Gugulethu. It seems the stars are aligned for the perfect romance, but unfortunately they are from two very different worlds. Their chance meeting in a coffee shop out of the raucous crowds at the festival seems to be a brief, one-time meeting of the unlikely two.
Sebe tries to make sense of his feelings during the first encounter, dragging his roommate, the humorous and energetic Yandi, into the mix. While he battles with his feelings for the beautiful Thuli, his far-from-successful acting career takes unexpected turns and life as he knows it starts to unravel. Through it all, dark secrets about his past lurk in the background.
The Seeing Place is Eden Walker’s first published novel, but in it she presents a modern romance in a truly South African setting, complete with load shedding and too-popular soapies. Her writing draws the reader in and the story is full of surprises with unexpected twists and turns.
The novel provides everything a romance lover needs, and does so with a well-woven story. Comedy in the form of Sebe’s roommate and his friend, Mpho, breaks the seriousness of Sebe’s home life with his ageing grandma and his troubled sister, Karabo. Drama, sadness and unbridled romance complete the tale, rounding it up into an enjoyable, relaxing read.