Today I am reviewing Critical But Stable by Angela Makholwa, published by Lake Union Publishing.
In cosmopolitan Johannesburg, three high-flying couples form the core of the elite Khula Society: part investment group, part social club, with meetings where the champagne flows, the dresses are designer and the one-upmanship is off the scale. Noma, Moshidi, Lerato and their husbands are living the dream—or so it appears from the outside.
In reality, the cut and thrust of ‘keeping up with the Khulas’ is taking its toll on all three couples. Behind the facade of their ocean-front mansions, Italian supercars and lavishly catered receptions lies a tangle of explosive secrets—and deadly consequences. But as long as every member toes the line, plays the role they’re here to play, the dark truth remains crushed beneath the heels of so many Louboutins…
That is until, in her bid to have it all and more, one of these rich and powerful women oversteps the mark—with someone else’s man. The group soon comes to learn that you can’t have it all without paying the ultimate price…
Set in Johannesburg, Critical But Stable it is a tale of wealth, power and the cost of having it all.
Makholwa takes the reader into the lives of three couples, Moshidu and Soli, Lerato and Mzwandile and Noma and the Duke, As each couple tries to “keep up with the joneses”, it quickly becomes apparent that what each presents to everyone on the outside of their lavish homes, is quite different behind their closed doors.
The prologue opens with a bang and sets the tone for the rest of the tale. Toxic relationships, secrets, lies and deceit make up the main crux of the story and is peppered throughout with humour amongst all the drama making for some lighter moments.
The characters were ok, but I was really only able to connect with one and was indifferent to the rest. In saying that though, I did enjoy the way the women were created which was strong, ambitious and not at all dependent on their husbands.
Overall this is an entertaining light read that was somewhat predictable, but there were some surprises that made an impact.
Thank you to Angela Makholwa, Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for allowing me to read an advance copy of Critical But Stable, which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.
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Angela Makholwa was born in Johannesburg, South Africa.
A qualified journalist, she cut her teeth reporting on crime stories in the 1990s. The case of a real-life serial killer went on to inform her debut novel, Red Ink―the first South African crime novel with an African female protagonist.
Her writing has gained her critical acclaim and several literary award nominations, including the 2020 UK Comedy Women in Print Prize, for which her novel The Blessed Girl was shortlisted. She is a keen yogi, reader, occasional dancer and a juggler of businesses―as well as writing novels, she currently runs a public relations agency.
Critical But Stable is her fifth novel.