Norma’s Secret/Excerpt from The Guarded Virgin

Oh God, what if my name isn’t there? I do not want to be anybody’s maid or washerwoman. I do not want to scrub white people’s floors. Mother has always warned me and Vera that we should never do such demeaning jobs. I must pass this exam. It is my passport out of this stifling village, my ticket to freedom where I can breathe air without being watched, my ticket to a prosperous future. Oh please, please, let my name be there!

My Book History

Octavia Butler’s "Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents, Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake and The Blind Assassin.  Sarah Waters and Val McDermid:  Stories that are deep and dark and polished and never cutesy and corny and cozy.


Mine is not the story of the little girl who embarked on her lifelong love affair with books whilst blissfully rambling through her local public library. I never begged to go to the library; I usually begged to go home.