The Pretenders by Agatha Zaza


In my opinion...


I wasn’t sure what to expect from this debut novel- but I ‘enjoyed’ it & found it both compulsive & intriguing.


It’s not a speedy read, it slowly develops the plot during the course of one day, using flashbacks to fill in the back story, revealing a tangled web of relationships and lies between six people- who were originally getting together to celebrate an engagement.


The characters are extremely well drawn and credible, even if not likeable. The story is uncomfortable and covers some distressing issues. Each chapter peels away another layer of the characters’ current lives.


There is no fairytale happy ending, but facing up to the truth in many of the characters lives, gives a sense of hope for their future.


A thought provoking read by an author that I look forward to hearing more from.


Want to know more?

The novel...


‘I’m perfectly happy lying to myself…If it means getting to stay with you.’


Jasper is ready to surprise his brother; Holly is ready to celebrate their engagement.


Anne tags along for fear of missing out, and John might just be going for another drink.


But Edmund and Ovidia had other plans for their Saturday.


Over the course of one day, these couples must own up to the secrets they’ve been hiding from one another and the lies they’ve been telling themselves. And face the devastating consequences.


Three couples. Two exes. One day. One reckoning.


The author...


Agatha Zaza is a Zambian and Finn at present living in Auckland, New Zealand. Her writing is a departure from her work in fundraising and international development.


The Pretenders was born in Singapore, where she spent three years as a trailing spouse, where she rekindled a long-dormant love of writing. Aside from Singapore, Agatha has worked and lived several countries, among them Uganda and in the then Soviet Union. While in Ireland, she earned a Master’s in Equality Studies from University College Dublin and worked in a genuine Irish pub.


Agatha’s work can be seen in the Johannesburg Review of Books and in a PEN International special edition on African writers. She has also published three short books on Amazon. She’s been a passionate slow runner for two and half decades and has recently given up composting.


My rating...


A thoughful, layered four glasses...