I read a review of this book. The person had read the book but could not fathom the targetaudience for this book. The content was a bit confusing to the reviewer.

It is indeed a confusing book. It was to me. But confusing in another sense as the reviewer wrote. The confusion is not in the mix of poetry, literature, auti-biography, thoughts and discussion and withdrawing from other people’s presence.

The confusion to me was the content of all that it entailed. The loss of this woman who writes how her life slipped away. Sielie is the wife of a pastor in South Africa. She enjoys being involved in the life of the local church. She organizes, she meets, she is at the ready, all the time. She enjoys it. But the end is near, she wants to avoid social meetings, she wants to avoid other people, her joy is slipping away.

She uses the metaphor of a dark forest. She wanders in this forest, into the darkest darkness of this forest. The people around her, even her pastoral husband, do not understand what happens to her. She herself hardly understands what happens. The forest penetrates into her house, the place that was secure, but is no longer.

She wanders to the garden of her youth, that garden was a paradise. But the gate of this gardenparadise will be closed. Sielie struggles with God, she quotes psalm 139 (a psalm of comfort, for God knows your innermost), and cries out to God why He does not take her out of this dark forest.

She has stopped attending churchservices, no more visitors to her house, no more music. Some time she spends in a hospital, at another time she passes the days in a small holidayhome.

Reading psalm 73 is a slow turningpoint. The psalmwriter wonders why the evildoers are prospering and the faithful are having a difficult time.

 A confusing and impressive book.

Sielie Laubscher – Donkerbosverdwaal – Vereeniging 1999/2000

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I enjoy reading about Africa. New books. Old books. By African writers. By non-African writers. Novel. History. Travel. Biographies. Autobiographies. Politics. Colonialism. Poetry.

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