So this is what happened: I was introduced to this book via Facebook and Instagram – suddenly people were going gaga over a certain book called Plumeria and of course my bookworm self was intrigued. How amazing could this book be?
So of course, naturally, as one does, I started stalking the author, Zanele Dlamini, on Facebook 🙂 I saw there was going to be a launch on Heritage Day for her book so I pimped myself out and offered to interview her at the launch to which she gracefully said yes!
So before I get into my review of Plumeria, I want to tell you a little bit about the launch. It was held on 24 September at the Durban Botanic Gardens – the birds where chirping, the sun was out, (and there was love in the air, like literally – we saw four different wedding parties!). There wasn’t as many people as we’d hoped for but no matter – the crowd that came out definitely wanted to be there and everyone interacted with Zanele and asked her questions and were really interested in hearing what she had to say.
Before we got into the nitty gritty of Plumeria, Zanele shared with us memories of her mother reading the stories from the You magazine to her and her siblings as a child, and developing a love for words as early on as that. After reading and re-reading Little Red Riding Hood as child, Zanele wanted more and she wanted more representation in literature as a little black girl. “Why am I not reading about black children? I wanted to read more black stories with black children.” And a writer was born.
And this writer has brought us Plumeria. A story of three women – coming from different circumstances – who make fresh New Year’s resolutions, to find who they are. The Universe conspires and gives them what they want. Are they ready to embrace the transformation?
Because I couldn’t wait forever (I’m also a bietjie impatient mense!), I decided to head on over to MY AFRICAN BUY (which happens to be the best thing since sliced bread, check it out here) and purchase my copy of Plumeria. So what are my thoughts about Plumeria?
I’d really like to point out what an exquisite storyteller Zanele is, on top of being a really good writer. She didn’t just write Plumeria, she really told the story of three women struggling with different things in their own different ways.
I met Ntokozo, Pinky and Zakithi who absolutely turned my life inside out (especially Zakithi). Ntokozo is dealing with the simultaneous loss of her mother and boyfriend (who breaks up with her); Pinky is dealing with an unexpected pregnancy and her boyfriend who proposes to someone else; and Zakithi, a victim of domestic violence who is staying in the marriage to protect her son.
We follow their unexpected journeys into finding themselves, finding who they are and finding what they want. I’m really not one to give too much away in a book because you really just have to read it for yourselves and come away with your own perspective.
Yes, I admit, I needed a few tissues along the way! Yho. Hhayi Zanele! Thank you sisi for bringing us something so authentic, stories that black women can relate to and bring forward characters who are this brave, this real.
Be sure to follow Zanele on Twitter (@Zanele_09) and on Instagram (@ntokozo29) and of course on Facebook too – Zanele Dlamini.
Leave a comment and leave your own thoughts about Plumeria and what you loved about it!