This sequel to Jennifer Friedman’s enchanting first memoir picks up where Queen of the Free State leaves off: as the rebellious young Jennifer is packed off to boarding school in Cape Town.
Told with humour and pathos, the theme of displacement – of the outsider – is explored as we follow Jennifer’s journey into adulthood, becoming a wife and mother, living in Johannesburg and Israel, emigration, and leave-takings in Australia. A strong sense of love, loyalty and place prevails, especially on her trips home to her beloved Free State. Expect stories about train journeys, windmills and floods, dead bodies on deck chairs, certifiably crazy home-help, babies, secrets and redemption, a Jewish British Bulldog and the Messiah’s favourite place.
‘You’ll shriek with laughter, shed tears and be enthralled as Jennifer Friedman takes you on a remarkable journey of boarding-school steak, funeral fiascos, and a heart-bursting tale of love and loss. Her extraordinary memory for detail, vibrant descriptions and masterful story-telling skills combine to create a rich and poignant memoir. Friedman never flinches.’ – Jonathan Ancer
‘Bewitching. Nostalgia with teeth.’ – Mike Nicol
Praise for the first book:
‘Queen of the Free State is authentic writing, and Jennifer Friedman has told of her childhood, honestly, and with schmaltz-free candour. It makes for a refreshing read and a remarkable debut.’ – Cape Times
‘The writing is beautiful, as you might expect from a poet. It lifts the story, giving it weight beyond its telling of a small life. Though, of course, no life is really small, and to be able to glimpse the experiences of another is a way to make sense of some of your own.’ – The Witness
‘Friedman’s lyrical descriptions transport you back to a time that would have been idyllic had it not been for apartheid and a bullying father. A book not to be missed.’ – YOU
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jennifer Friedman was born and raised in the Orange Free State. She studied at UCT, and her Afrikaans poetry has been published in various journals such as Tydskrif vir Letterkunde and Wetenskap en Kuns. This book, Messiah’s Dream Machine is the sequel to Queen of the Free State, published in 2017. Jennifer lives in Australia.
The Messiah's Dream Machine is published by NB Publishers