312pp., paperback, Johannesburg, 2017
A novel set in Cape Town in 1995 about a young woman who lives with her devout Muslim family in Bo-Kaap and works as a political reporter in Parliament.
"There is a lot to like in this novel with Rossouw tackling a period when the idealism of the transition to democracy was taking its first hard knock. And in Ali, she has created a character who is going to have to face up to her own personal circumstances – living in a community where conformity is the watchword, particularly for women, is one problem. Hopes unfulfilled in both her own life and the wider society are taking their toll. But Rossouw doesn’t always manage to mesh her themes successfully. As the political part of the novel veers perilously close to didacticism, in an effort to keep the storytelling lively Rossouw offers too many descriptive flourishes that tend to stop the reader in their tracks. Particularly towards the end of the book, the two strands of her story sit a trifle uneasily together." Margaret von Klemperer for The Witness
Rehana Rossouw was born in Cape Town and currently works as a journalist in Johannesburg. Her first novel, "What Will People Say?", won the National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences prize for fiction in 2017.