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Ceridwen

Ceridwen

You kids get off my lawn. 

Not Interesting South Africa

The Wingman - Natasha Anders Floored - Ainslie Paton

The Wingman is an eminently forgettable contemporary romance I picked up mostly because of its South African setting. I had this foreign language teacher who always said the best way to learn conversational chatter was to watch soaps: they tend to be real familial, familiar, and local. So I've enjoyed contemporary romances from other countries on this level: they give me a real interesting view of a country. I mean, of course it's stylized and perfected, but it can be unvarnished in a way you don't get in capital L Literature. I read like a half dozen novels by Ainslie Paton because she writes so winningly about Australia, and about the Pacific Rim more generally. Floored is a straight up road trip novel, and so much fun if you want to drive through a dozen shitty Australian towns. Which I do! 

 

Anyway, The Wingman is not that, not by half. There's a little chatter about how no one speaks Afrikaans, but then no one speaks Afrikaans. The main girl runs a clinic is the bad part of town (i.e. the black part of town) but pretty much the community exists to menace her with gangsters or rescue her from said gangsters. Everything is paint by numbers small town romance with requisite slut shaming and label dropping, but that kind of label dropping that pretends it isn't interested in status objects like those bitches over there. Sure, Becky.