Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Ramadan Sky by Nichola Hunter

Review by The Mole

"When Vic takes up a position as an English language teacher in Jakarta, she quickly organises her world around her: she establishes her position amongst the local men and her colleagues; she locates her nearest wine-merchant; and she finds an ojek driver with an understanding of English to attend her. However, having worked in ELT for almost 20 years, she is surprised by the Western luxury that she longs for most in Indonesia.

She can cope with the change of diet and culture, but she struggles with the lack of male companionship – she misses feeling attractive. She misses sex. So, when one evening her ojek driver Fajar helps her carry her baggage into her apartment, she decides to take action, and together they cross a boundary that will change both their lives.

 To be honest this one took me a bit by surprise - but it was a pleasant surprise. Although Vic has travelled extensively teaching English in different locations around the world she still comes across as a fish out of water. She doesn't fit in and doesn't seem to try - but then neither do her co-workers. There does seem to be a common trait of the women though, and that is a lack of sex. When she strikes up a relationship with Fajar it is purely physical. But is it? How long can it remain that way? Is there more than just the two of them involved in this? And can there be a happy ending? The story switches between the 3 main characters, Fajar, Vic and Aryanti. Hunter never leaves you in doubt as to which you are listening to as they tell the next part of their story. There is no real sex related to the reader - this is not an erotic novel in any way - and the story is not a soft gushy romance either. It actually feels like a true diarised account in that they talk openly to strangers - not intimates.

As a novella it was a quick easy read that felt like life - no real ending, no real justice - and did I like any of the characters at any time? Yes, but only Aryanti, although I wonder, did she get a happy ending?

Publisher - The Friday Project
Genre - Adult literary fiction

Buy Ramadan Sky from Amazon

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