When my sister told me she had this book for me to read, I wasn’t really interested. “Ants in my Sugar” – what sort of a title was that for a book – yet alone a good book.
She posted it up to me. I collected it from the Post Office and listened to my 11 yr old daughter reading the back cover to me. Despite her tripping over some of the large words used, after hearing the ‘blurb’ I knew I was going to enjoy this book.
So much so, that I bought the sequel ‘More Ants’ whilst at Exclusive that same day.
Without giving away too much, the story centres around Annica, a young mother in the sixties in South Africa. She is married to a much older man who unexpectedly hits financial ruin. His solution to this is to buy a ‘pondokkie’ in the country, curb their spending and recover from his disaster.
Her new home is set on a 2.5 acre plot of khakibos and the occasional blackjack. She has to adjust to a typical ‘farming’ way of life – a borehole, windmill and no inside ablutions. No electricity or running water. The joys of an Aga (wood-fired) stove. All in the middle of winter.
The characters she encounters along her journey are what make the book as delightful as it is. May, her ‘maid’ and closest friend. The black sangoma who lives next door. And the Jewish pig farmer.
I think one of the reasons i so enjoyed this book is because her way of life resonated so with mine (I live on a farm). I have an Aga, a windmill and a reservoir. Luckily tho i do have running water, and an inside toilet.
I laughed from beginning to end. It’s an easy read. Light but meaningful. And the sequel is just as, if not, more delightful.
This is a book you can keep on your nightstand and dip into from time to time. You won’t be disappointed.