Entertaining angels

by Van der Vyver, Marita.

Format: Print Book 1996
Availability: Available at 1 Library 1 of 1 copy
Available (1)
Location Collection Call #
Community Library of Allegheny Valley - Harrison Fiction FICTION Van der
Location  Community Library of Allegheny Valley - Harrison
Collection  Fiction
Call Number  FICTION Van der
Griet Swart's life is not exactly a fairy tale. Her once marvelous marriage has ended in divorce. She has lost her husband, her home, and her baby in yet another miscarriage. Thirtyish, attractive, and intelligent, Griet finds herself oversexed and under-loved, living out of a suitcase in a borrowed flat in Capetown, South Africa, and trying to cope with her furious flood of feelings and torrent of troubles in an effort that resembles an attempt to sweep back the sea with a shredding broom. Late one night an angel appears on Griet's doorstep in the form of a blond and barefoot young stranger named Adam (truly as beautiful as the first man must have been). He breaks the spell of Griet's sadness with a joyful sexual adventure. This unlikely fairy godmother disappears once his task is completed, leaving Griet to continue her pilgrim's progress toward lasting happiness on her own, armed only with her abundant imagination and unfailing sense of humor. In the story of Griet's adventures, a wry feminist sensibility is coupled with an irrepressible sexiness to produce a modern-day fairy tale that is outrageously witty, unblushingly candid, and magically moving. Hilariously frank, original, and sexy, this wondrous novel is irresistibly entertaining.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Van der Vyver's protagonist, Griet Swart, must, like the legendary Scheherazade, spin fairy tales "not just to earn her daily bread, but also to keep death at bay." When we meet her, she's head-in-oven at a friend's flat but is shocked out of suicide by a dead cockroach on the wire rack on which she has placed her head. So she cleans the oven, inadvertently almost suffocating in the process. Poor Griet has lost husband, home, stepchildren, and baby, and she drearily counts the days of separation in her journal, recounts psychotherapy sessions and days editing children's stories, and resigns herself to cultivating the storytelling tradition of her Afrikaans grandfathers. Enter, a la Gabriel, Adam, an appropriately gorgeous angel who makes his way into her home, bed, and heart and helps her find, as she shrieks in sexual ecstasy, the power to "take vengeance for every woman who'd ever been gagged by a man." This delightfully loony tale has been both a best-seller and a prizewinner in its author's homeland, South Africa. ~--Whitney Scott"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Cast as a series of modern fairy tales, van der Vyver's witty, innovative debut introduces a heroine devoted to the mythology of her youth. Griet Swart, heartbroken after three miscarriages and a failed marriage, habitually sees the archetypal in the mundane and longs for the unconditional love of a ``prince.'' Living alone in a borrowed flat in Cape Town, South Africa, she deals with her depression through dark humor and calculated flights of fancy-often likening herself to Gretel, for instance, not only because of their similar names but also because of their shared familiarity with ovens; once, contemplating suicide, Griet stuck her head in an unlit gas stove (``I saw not only a cockroach, but this thick layer of crumbs and hard-baked fat.... I spent the rest of the evening cleaning the oven.''). Griet's tragicomic life holds some whimsy, too, as when a gorgeous surfer visits, inspiring one of Griet's sisters to quote, ``Be kind to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it.'' Though launched at a high pitch, the story's considerable energy eventually levels off, with each allegorically imagined chapter, from ``Snow White Takes a Bite of the Apple'' to ``Rapunzel Rescues Herself,'' promising more of the same as Griet learns to be her own savior. Still, through her engagingly quirky approach and sympathetic lead, van der Vyver invests the humdrum of daily life with the spirit of myth and magic. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Women authors -- Fiction.
Cape Town (South Africa) -- Fiction.
Publisher New York :Plume,1996
Other Titles Griet skryf 'n sprokie.
Language English
Description x, 213 pages ; 21 cm
ISBN 0452273390
Other Classic View