The Fetch by Finuala Dowling


Dowling, previous author of What Poets Need and Flyleaf among others, is one of my favourite South African writers. In a country where politics is such a prevalent issue, it’s sometimes refreshing to read a story that steers clear of this topic. The story is set in Slangkop, a small community near Kommetjie. Nina, a librarian and hopeless romantic, falls in love with Chas, a flamboyant and glamorous copywriter and notorious party-thrower. William, scientist and eccentric, harbours secret feelings for Nina. Over time Nina discovers that her assumptions were misguided. The combination of Dowling’s beautiful writing, subtle yet incisive wit and her focus on nuance of character is what makes her books such a delight.

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SKU: 9780795707179 Categories: ,


The coastal settlement of Slangkop, near Cape Town, comes alive over weekends when mercurial Chas Fawkes holds court at Midden House. Invited to one of his legendary parties, shy, plump librarian Nina Browne is smitten and becomes first his secretary, then his lover. But things are not as they seem on the glittering surface, as Nina in turn is loved and watched over by Chas’s childhood playmate, the hermit-like environmentalist William.
When Chas’s estranged alcoholic wife Dolly briefly returns, she steals William’s savings and leaves behind a different treasure – her baby son, Oro.  In a gentler, more innocent way than Chas, young Oro is a catalyst in the Slangkop community. William is forced out of his seclusion and proves a surprisingly good stand-in dad.
William is still desperate to win Nina’s heart, but how, when she is so caught up in Chas’s slipstream? As the inhabitants of this eccentric seaside community orbit around Chas and his increasingly desperate crises, sex raises questions that love must help them answer.


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