Book Review | Nineveh

This month The BookBum Club theme is: BEAUTIFUL BOOK COVERS simply choose a book with an absolutely gorgeous front cover! This is all down to opinion at the end of the day… so take your pick! This was a lot more difficult than I thought it would be because there are so many books that have pretty covers but in the end, I decided on Nineveh.


Katya Grubbs, like her father before her, deals in ‘the unlovely and unloved’. Yet in contrast to her father, she is not in the business of pest extermination, but pest relocation.

Katya’s unconventional approach brings her to the attention of a property developer whose luxury estate on the fringes of Cape Town, Nineveh, remains uninhabited thanks to an infestation of mysterious insects. As Katya is drawn ever deeper into the chaotic urban wilderness of Nineveh, she must confront unwelcome intrusions from her own past.

This third novel by the award-winning Rose-Innes confirms her reputation as one of South Africa’s most noteworthy literary voices.


Amazon | Goodreads


This was one of my splurges last year at the Edinburgh Book Festival, it’s the first one I’ve gotten around to reading and since I got it five months ago I’m not sure if that’s good or bad.

Nineveh is very much a character-driven book, there is a plot but the focus is mainly on Katya and the deserted estate Nineveh which is very much a character in itself. It is, in my opinion, a story about nature, not the phenomena of the physical world but traits and qualities. How the characters and the setting relate to each other and the effect of what human nature does to that around it. It is also about acceptance, of learning to live with what you cannot control.

The writing in Nineveh is hypnotic, the way the author crafts her words to bring the setting and characters to life is fantastic. The way she builds up the detail, describing everything as if she was painting a picture, precise and with layers, it was captivating.

I enjoyed the way we are slowly given that bigger picture of Katya, as the story of her past comes out piece by piece, always relevant to what is happening to her in the present and that sense of not being able to change where you come from, which is reflected metaphorically in Nineveh and the goggas.

I struggled a little with the reading experience, whilst this isn’t a very long book, it is very dense, it moves languidly and can be quite a lot to take in, I think it is the perfect style for this story since it isn’t plot based but I wasn’t expecting it so it did slow things a bit too much for me at times.

Nineveh is certainly a unique story with a very thought-provoking voice, which envelops you easily into its world, well worth a read.



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