Review – If You Want to Make God Laugh by Bianca Marais

Posted March 4, 2022 by Carole in Reviews / 6 Comments

I received this book for free from the publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review – If You Want to Make God Laugh by Bianca MaraisIf You Want to Make God Laugh by Bianca Marais
Narrator: Bianca Amato, Katharine Lee McEwan, Bahni Turpin
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons on July 16, 2019
Genres: Fiction / Literary
Length: 12 hours 38 minutes
Format: ARC, Audiobook
Source: Publisher, Purchased
Amazon | Audible | B&N | Kobo |

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?

I liked this book! It dealt with some pretty heavy topics but still managed to feel like a lighter read. This book tells the story of three women set against a post Apartheid South Africa also touching on the AIDS epidemic. This story was an emotional journey and I was quickly invested in the lives of these three very different women. I am so glad that I finally got around to reading this book.

Zodwa lives with her mother in extreme poverty in a squatter’s camp. She is about to have a baby which will present a whole new challenge. Delilah has spent her life working to help others after being forced to leave her role as a nun. Ruth is Delilah’s sister and polar opposite. Ruth has lived a much wilder life and is currently in the process of another divorce. A baby found by Delilah and Ruth will bring these three together. These women have lived through horrible things and my heart broke for them as we learned their stories.

I thought that this book was very well done. I liked the fact that we get the opportunity to see South Africa during this post Apartheid period from very different points of view. Zodwa sees things very differently as a young black woman than the sisters do as middle age white women. The stigma of AIDS was also an important issue in the story. I enjoyed seeing each of these women work through some of their personal demons while learning to trust each other.

I listened to the audiobook and thought that Bianca Amato, Katharine McEwan, and Bahni Turpin did an incredible job in bringing this story to life. I think that each narrator did a great job in capturing the emotion of their character’s story. I think that their voices worked well in this story and I really liked that each point of view had a different narrator. I think that the narrators’ performance added to my overall enjoyment of this story.

I would recommend this book to others. I was quickly captivated by the lives of these three women and felt invested in their lives. I definitely plan to read more from this talented author.

I received a digital review copy of this book from G.P. Putnam’s Sons via NetGalley and purchased a copy of the audiobook.

6 responses to “Review – If You Want to Make God Laugh by Bianca Marais