Review: An Act of Defiance

Review: An Act of Defiance

Buckle up and don’t forget to breath: you’re in for an exceptional ride! An Act of Defiance is a political thriller, a romantic novel and a manifest for human rights all at the same time. At the centre of this is Gabrielle Langa. A young lawyer working at an aid centre in Zimbabwe on a high profile rape case. The defendant is a powerful politician, the victim is a 15 year old girl. It’s 2000 and Robert Mugabe, consistently referred to as The Old Man, holds the country in a tight grip while his youth party sears terror by systematically intimidating and starving the Zimbabweans.


The legal case raises Gabrielle’s profile, not in a good way, but she is too distracted to understand what’s happening. Because she is in the middle of falling in love with Ben: a young African American diplomat at the US Embassy and new to the country. Their love story ends before it began when a brutal situation tears them apart and they loose sight of each other. When they meet each other years later, Gabrielle is lost between trauma, depression and motherhood.


The story jumps between scenes, settings and times. This could be irritating but is actually just what you need to catch a breath between chapters and to understand the development of the characters. These characters are not always likeable, but so well written that you develop an empathy for all of them. Always present in the background (and some at the forefront), are the Zimbabweans and the political developments that shaped their country over thirty years.

An Act of Defiance is Irene Sabatini’s third novel, and the first one we’ve read. Oh how we are grateful for her honest and compelling writing. We wouldn’t have wanted to miss out on this book. Thanks to The Indigo Press for sharing it with us.

Buy the book here.

Auteur:          Irene Sabatini
Uitgeverij:     The Indigo Press
Prijs:              €15.99

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