*Thank you Putnam Publishing for this gifted giveaway win! All opinions are my own.
Title: If You Want To Make God Laugh
About the author: (credit to Goodreads)
Publish Date: July 16, 2019
Publisher: G.P Putnam
What I Loved/Thought: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
“𝙸’𝚟𝚎 𝚓𝚞𝚜𝚝 𝚌𝚘𝚖𝚎 𝚝𝚘 𝚛𝚎𝚊𝚕𝚒𝚣𝚎 𝚖𝚘𝚛𝚎 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚖𝚘𝚛𝚎 𝚝𝚑𝚊𝚝 𝚒𝚏 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚠𝚊𝚗𝚝 𝚝𝚘 𝚖𝚊𝚔𝚎 𝙶𝚘𝚍 𝚕𝚊𝚞𝚐𝚑, 𝚝𝚎𝚕𝚕 𝚑𝚒𝚖 𝚢𝚘𝚞𝚛 𝚙𝚕𝚊𝚗𝚜. 𝙰𝚗𝚍 𝙸’𝚟𝚎 𝚗𝚎𝚟𝚎𝚛 𝚑𝚊𝚍 𝚖𝚘𝚛𝚎 𝚙𝚕𝚊𝚗𝚜 𝚝𝚑𝚊𝚗 𝙸 𝚑𝚊𝚟𝚎 𝚗𝚘𝚠.”
-𝙱𝚒𝚊𝚗𝚌𝚊 𝙼𝚊𝚛𝚊𝚒𝚜, 𝙸𝚏 𝚈𝚘𝚞 𝚆𝚊𝚗𝚝 𝚃𝚘 𝙼𝚊𝚔𝚎 𝙶𝚘𝚍 𝙻𝚊𝚞𝚐𝚑
I just went on the most emotional and wonderful journey while reading If You Want To Make God Laugh, and now I feel a book hangover coming on!
Set in South Africa during the 1990’s, where the HIV/AIDS epidemic is prevalent. Marais highlights different topics such as race, politics, sexual abuse, and the corruption in society in such a beautifully written way. Her writing just pulled me in from the beginning, as I fell in love with each character as they told their story. From sisters Delilah and Ruth, to young Zodwa, I loved how each story flowed chapter to chapter and I discovered more about each one.
This was such a powerful read, and one that will stay with me for a long time.
About the Book:
From the author of the beloved Hum If You Don’t Know the Words comes a rich, unforgettable story of three unique women in post-Apartheid South Africa who are brought together in their darkest time and discover the ways that love can transcend the strictest of boundaries.
In a squatter camp on the outskirts of Johannesburg, seventeen-year-old Zodwa lives in desperate poverty, under the shadowy threat of a civil war and a growing AIDS epidemic. Eight months pregnant, Zodwa carefully guards secrets that jeopardize her life.
Across the country, wealthy socialite Ruth appears to have everything her heart desires, but it’s what she can’t have that leads to her breakdown. Meanwhile, in Zaire, a disgraced former nun, Delilah, grapples with a past that refuses to stay buried. When these personal crises send both middle-aged women back to their rural hometown to heal, the discovery of an abandoned newborn baby upends everything, challenging their lifelong beliefs about race, motherhood, and the power of the past.
As the mystery surrounding the infant grows, the complicated lives of Zodwa, Ruth, and Delilah become inextricably linked. What follows is a mesmerizing look at family and identity that asks: How far will the human heart go to protect itself and the ones it loves?
“Lovely….Marais showcases her talent for pulling beauty from the pain of South African history with a strong story and wonderfully imperfect characters.”–Publishers Weekly
“This earnest novel burns with the consequences of forbidden romance, betrayal, and the redemptive power of love.”– Booklist
“Marais excels at creating compelling characters; readers will be turning the pages, wondering what life has in store for each.” —Library Journal
“Bianca Marais renders her home country – and the issues that plagued it during this era — with the nuance of an insider.”– Refinery29