Author Jane Paterson’s first novel, Gatekeepers of the Grapevine is a solid offering. It offers a look at the lives of several women as their struggle through relationships, time and the fortunes of living in Cape Town, Africa. Paterson, herself born in South Africa, has a natural flair for the vernacular, and her storytelling is good.
This novel is considered women’s literature, or women’s fiction, only because the main characters are all women as if that negates men from having an interest in the story. Right now the book is available on Kindle for $2.99 and runs 258 pages, about 3650 positions on my device.
This isn’t Out of Africa, nor a James Michener tome, so don’t expect a narrative deep in African culture. Instead, consider it lighter fare, perhaps equal to the 1980’s US TV hit Dynasty, with the main characters all female and the gatekeeper of Vintner’s Estate, the puppet master.
Pacing is moderate, a good novel to sit and enjoy a cup of tea with, and the plot stays steady. The characters and their traits are established early, although not in great depth, and the story begins in
Characters: 15 Honesty: 15 Originality: 18 Plot and Pacing: 16 Storytelling: 16
CHOPS Review total on a scale of 100: 80 Points
Star grading: up to 19 points = 1 star, 20-39 points = 2 stars, 40-59 points = 3 starts, 60-79 points = 4 stars, 80-100 points= 5 stars