Many times on this blog I have discussed the dire need of African writing to diversify away from literary fiction and the need for African writers to move into the genres- whatever African genres may turn out to be. Fiona Snyckers has done an excellent job doing just that with her debut novel Trinity Rising.
Elsewhere I've seen the book described as South Africa's first attempt at chick lit, but that's not true. Zukiswa Wanner wrote The Madams some time before this book was published. Nevertheless Trinity may be the first African chick lit that has the long, sexy legs that can stretch across the wide seas.
Trinity Rising is the story of Trinity Luhabe daughter to the famous struggle icon Abel Luhabe, something she wishes people would get over. It is her first year at university and though she has all of the intentions to study she never quite gets around to it with her packed schedule of parties, socialising, and shopping.
Trinity tries her best to show the world that she is all fluff and no substance. She is sick to death of the politics she was raised on and is now free and wanting nothing more than a good time and a sexy handbag. But the skill of Ms Snyckers is most evident in her characterisation. Trinity is a complex, contradictory character. Though she seems irresponsible, she has a brilliant business mind. Her marketing prowess is best seen when she is establishing her babysitting business. Though she seems flippant, when her friend is suddenly in dire straights, she shifts into high gear and saves the day even when she knows it might be the end of the friendship. Trinity is a brilliant character who I couldn't get enough of- thankfully the book is the first in a series- so I know for sure Trinity will be part of my future.
And what would chick lit be without romance? Again Ms Snyckers sneaks up on the reader -and on Trinity who is looking for a drop dead gorgeous guy with unlimited capacity to earn cash as Trinity's goal is to be the wife of a rich man. The author has no intention of allowing Trinity to follow such a marshmallow agenda. From stage left the leading man appears, but what is this? A lefty poet with a pony tail? Oh Ms Snyckers how could you do it to our girl Trinity?
Trinity Rising is intelligent South African chick lit. The plot is full of interesting twists and turns. I also like how she uses emails and lists to move the story forward. This reader can't wait to get her hands on instalment number 2.