Yvonne Maphosa, 06/02/2021
Audrey’s Novel, Chances, tells the story of Varopafadzwa “Ropa” and Ralphael “Ralph”. Ropa is a pastor’s daughter, raised by the good book and with strong principles.
She’s a proper church girl but heartbreaks keep pulling her further and further away from the cross. Her first heartbreak was brutal!
When the third man obliterates her heart, she builds the final layer of her walls. She’s almost completely closed off to love… until Ralph accidentally happens.
Ropa is as badass as they come. She can wipe the floor with anyone’s butt on a game of pool and can down tequila shots faster than The Flash can run to the Grand Canyon.
She’s a loner and has shut the world out completely, well at least that’s what she portrays. When she’s alone behind closed doors, we see a different side of her.
She goes from being an ordinary psychologist to being a secret agent for the UNIT, a top CIA – FBI – 24 – SPY type top secret agency that Ralph works for.
I loved the alternating voices/chapters (POVs) of Ralph and Ropa as they put us in their different head spaces. I appreciated the amount of research and attention to detail the author put into the story.
I also loved how familiar places in Harare and Cape Town popped up, it made it feel more real. Personally, I would have preferred a longer story. This was pretty short. (Selfishly so because I love long stories).
I would have loved to read more about their undercover missions, those were lit lit! Like that Nigeria Skulls bust! And maybe a bit about them after they crossed the friendship line.
I also expected more drama around the kidnapping of Ralph’s daughter and the ex-wife’s infidelity. The narration of that particular part was too summarized and not as dramatic as anticipated (for me).
All in all. It’s a beautiful, well written story, laced with betrayal, heartbreak, pain, healing, love and God.
It reminded me that not everything is what it looks like. See how bold and daring Ropa was on the outside but how hollow and terrified she was on the inside?
It’s fiction yes but it was a kind reminder to be kind to people for no reason and to read more books by African writers because they bring the stories close to home.