“If You Want to Make God Laugh” Book Review

I have to say that Marais’ book truly touched my heart. The story of a pregnant teen, a former showgirl, and an ex-nun all living in South Africa in the early 90s intertwines to perfectly capture the resilience and unending strength of these powerful female characters. I loved the switches in POV, which created suspense and a varying, often unique look at some of the same events. Marais did a fantastic job authentically capturing the voices of these three women – no matter how different their personalities may seem, their inner thoughts and actions felt realistic and directly related to their personal histories. Just one warning though: this book is heartbreaking. Of course, South Africa was in a perilous era during this time – with the AIDS virus running rampant and racism still affecting many people. So, it only seems natural that these elements would be incorporated into the narrative. As much heartbreak as I felt reading this tale of unlucky women shaped by trauma, I still fell in love with the characters and was captivated until the very last page.

5 stars

*I actually received two free copies of this book from Putnam and from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

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