|Under a Swirling Sun|
|Sunday, 12 January 2014 18:34|
By Maria Victoria Pereira
Review by Joshua Masojada
Under A Swirling Sun is a fictional account of the life of a beautiful and intelligent Portuguese woman named Margarida. Born into a conservative Catholic family, Margarida spends her early years growing up in a politically divided Mozambique, where she develops into a shy girl, unsure of how to express herself. She marries young and naïve to an intellectually inferior man, who fails to challenge her ideas and broaden her horizons. Throughout her marriage Margarida feels lost and insecure, as she lacks a vocation and does not fully understand herself. Civil war forces her family to emigrate to South Africa, where she continues to unsuccessfully consult therapists, religious leaders and doctors in her quest for self discovery. Through various experiences Margarida uncovers neglected parts of her personality, previously hidden to her. A friend accidentally discovers her diary and through this she realizes her true talent and vocation in writing. Margarida is finally satisfied and happy with life.
Under A Swirling Sun is a story of self-discovery, uncertainty and questioning. It is a story about life and how people manage to overcome the obstacles whether on the interior or exterior. Through Margarida’s mistakes the reader can learn the importance of expressing oneself, the qualities to look for in a partner and the importance of uncovering and understanding one’s personality completely. The book highlights the importance of faith in life, as it is a recurring theme. In times of hardship, such as the sudden deaths of her husband and son, Margarida’s faith keeps her strong.
The book is well written, and despite having a slow uneventful start it became interesting and compelling as the main character developed. I would recommend this book, as it gives intriguing insight into the human mind with all its insecurities and doubts. The book also managed to awaken a deeper appreciation for poetry in me, which I certainly did not have in school. One short poem stuck with me, as it encapsulated the prominent theme of the book, it went, “In the deep/ Peace dwells/ Even if at first/ When you enter the well/ You don’t feel that well.” Self-realization was what Margarida strived for throughout the book, and through much hardship, she persevered, achieved her goal and found happiness in life.
Pereira’s first ‘metafiction’ novel, Under a Swirling Sun, based on her life experiences, was launched at the end of 2012 by Adams Bookshop. (see: victoria-pereira-poet.blogspot.com). It is also available on amazon.com and e.kindle. She is currently working on her new collection of poetry and short stories.