Outside the Lines is both a thriller and a family drama. It tells the story of two women: Cathleen, a troubled young woman living in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg; and Flora, who is the domestic worker at Cathleen’s house. Cathleen disappears and tensions and drama ensue.
Outside the Lines
Outside the Lines is both a thriller and a family drama.
Ameera Patel’s first novel is edgy, witty, fresh, engaging, moving, memorable. This is an important new voice in the emerging movement of new South African fiction, taking us to places at once familiar and defamiliarised by the sensitivity of the writing. A vivid portrait of contemporary Johannesburg, wide-ranging, passionately engaged and acerbic.
“This dysfunctional family drama has unexpected moments of dark comedy to disrupt the unfolding, inevitable tragedy. While exposing the multilayered inequities of the haves vs. have-nots, Patel slyly ridicules white privilege, religious hypocrisy, clueless parenting, casual racism, ineffective rules and breakable laws. In clipped, often unadorned sentences, Patel skillfully presents a raw narrative of careless disconnections and scathing verity.”
“In this coke-fueled thrill-ride through the underworld of Joburg, characters face difficult decisions and try to find some humanity, even as the quest for money and the need to meet family expectations tear them apart. South Africa is one of the great hot spots for crime fiction these days, and we can’t wait to see more from Ameera Patel.”
“A particularly fresh and contemporary take on Johannesburg.”
“Leaves a mark on your memory as well as your heart.”
“Nearly all the characters in Patel’s book are breaking rules in some or other deeply human way. Her storytelling is so vivid that the five principal characters, whose names head chapters, live on long after you have put down the novel.”
““Both a light read and sustaining enough to live on in the mind. Though the book reads like a thriller, it is enhanced by the depth Patel gives her characters. The reader feels fully immersed in their consciousnesses. Patel has the ability to take us into the lives of her characters. A remarkably good read.”
Jane Rosenthal, Mail & Guardian