Book Review – Adder


by Christelle van Rooyen-Wessels (Penguin) ISBN 978-1-48590-310-9

Christelle van Rooyen-Wessels’ debut novel, Adder, is a great read filled with suspense and drama. It took me a while to get into it as I haven’t read an Afrikaans book in years and had to look up the meaning of some words.

The novel is centred on the life of Klara, who harbours a dark secret. She has an abusive, aggressive husband, Johan. She is also attracted to Johan’s colleague.

Christelle writes beautifully and with such impact. It is almost as if I am with Klara as she remembers how Johan pointed his gun at their baby boy, David, telling her he is going to shoot their baby and then kill her. I could almost feel the fear rising up in Klara as Johan is about to strike her.

In the middle of all this are the murders of two young girls, with a third one missing. Klara seems to be the link to all three victims.

I really enjoyed it and I forgot how rich the Afrikaans language is for storytelling.

Tracy-Ann Damons
4/5