Bryn Wilson is a bookstore owner in Clarens, the jewel of the Free State. Fiery and independent, it seems that her life’s path has been clearly mapped out for her.
Bryn’s adopted sister, Ramona, a gifted photographer, returns to her home town after the death of their father, just as their mother is diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Although a drifter and free spirit, Ramona takes it upon herself to care for their ailing mother, Kate. But, even as she starts her new life in the heart of the Free State, it seems that her closely guarded secrets have followed her home from Europe.
Doctor Jillian Matthews is the local surgeon and Bryn’s ex-lover. She’s intimately involved with Kate’s treatment and remains one of Bryn’s closest friends, although the lines blur from time to time.
Angelica Lee, an accomplished artist, arrives in Clarens one winter, intent on teaching art classes. Over time, she charms her way into Bryn’s book club and her circle of friends. Despite making some headway, Bryn and Ramona’s strained relationship is threatened when a cluster of deep, dark secrets are unearthed. Can they all overcome their individual betrayals? Which relationships will survive and which ones will perish?
René Nienaber takes the lesbian genre to new heights by scouring the
intricacies of relationships and exploring them in a gentle, sensual,
often humorous and sometimes heartbreaking tale
Serendipity – a brave debut novel by new South African writer René Nienaber takes the lesbian genre to new heights by scouring the intricacies of relationships and exploring them in a gentle, sensual, often humorous and sometimes heartbreaking tale that will keep you hooked to the very end.
Set against the backdrop of the beautiful Free State town of Clarens, Serendipity drips with nostalgia for those who dream of a simpler, quieter life, while pumping up the pace with intricately woven stories of love, forgiveness, friendship and family. If you’re looking for a good, solid read and characters into which you can sink your teeth, then Serendipity is the novel for you. You won’t escape being captivated by Bryn Wilson, the local Clarens bookstore owner whose passion for Ingrid Jonker is only rivalled by her love for the women in her life, her ailing mother, Kate, and her complicated relationship with her adopted sister, Ramona.
As a first-time writer, Nienaber does a fantastic job of balancing a good, solid story with a vivid sense of place; sensual and sexy encounters; and very real heartache.
But, more than simply being a great gay novel, Serendipity also explores the brutal realities and heartwrenching pain of caring for an ailing parent. This novel shines the light on the unforgiving, voracious appetite of Multiple Sclerosis to not only destroy the sufferer, but to affect everyone in the family, too.
Steeped in undiscovered secrets, betrayal and passion a-plenty, this is a life-affirming novel that is not to be missed. Its story that will linger long after reading, like the scent of a good perfume.
SERENDIPITY BY RENE NIENABER Available on Kindle or at amazon.com, smashwords.com and publisher.co.za