An Absolute Deception

I have enjoyed Lesley Lokko’s novels (eg Sundowners, Bitter Chocolate, One Secret Summer, A Private Affair and Rich Girl, Poor Girl) ever since I picked up Saffron Skies in July 2008.

An Absolute Deception is an absolutely thrilling read. Like all her previous novels, this 533-page novel is well-written, engrossing, fast-paced, with a plot so gripping I found it hard to put it down. It is also packed with secrets and deceptions.

‘While all deceptions require secrecy, all secrecy is not meant to deceive.’ (Sissela Bok, Swedish philosopher)

Again, like all Lesley Lokko novels, the protagonists are females who are powerful and ambitious, like Anneliese de Saint-Phalle (actually born Hannelore von Riedesal), a phenomenally successful fashion designer and her three equally successful daughters Callan, Lindi and Tara. Together with the other characters thrown in, such as Ree (an architect) and his wife Hayley (a model working for Anneliese), all come together in a web of relationship and their lives are intertwined.

Other gems include the discovery that

  • Only one thing can help manage pain : work;
  • Love makes a person vulnerable;
  • Sometimes punishment is meted out because of something one fears and despises in oneself;
  • The past can never be left behind.

From the start to the end, the book is exciting, complex, sophisticated, delicious and a real page-turner.

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