Thicker Than Water|| By Rudzani Khashane

Year of Publication:2023
Disclaimer:This book was sent to me by The Author for review purposes.

Thicker Than Water is a coming of age story told through the lens of two sisters who couldn’t be further apart in character. Zoe, the older sister is a rebel, free spirit and seemingly reckless new adult, but there is more to her than meets the eye. Zee is the responsible, diligent, obedient younger sister who can do no wrong … until.

In her debut novel, South African author, Rudzani Khashane explores a number of important themes for young adults on the cusp of new adulthood. The themes include sibling relationships, parental expectations, peer pressure, growing up different in the same home, teenage pregnancy, infidelity, friendship, betrayal and how our choices have consequences.

Though packed with some topical themes that can be icebreakers to important conversations between parents and the children who read this debut, what stuck out most to me was the sibling banter and how sisters are the friends we are born with. Watching Zoe and Zee’s relationship develop and take shape on paper was a joy to witness.

It must be said that because the book is an independently published first edition, the reader has to walk into it with some grace for certain technicalities. The story though, is sure to grab your attention and keep you turning the page.

The cover to this book is one of my favourite things about it. Designed by Peter Montso, it depicts how sisterhood is the place from where our flowers bloom. Zoe and Zee, faceless in the cover, could quite literally be you and me.

The loudest message I walked off with from Thicker Than Water is the importance of creating safe spaces in the home, where each of your children can come as they are to seek for a sounding board on how life should be navigated. However, most importantly, where they can come after they’ve erred and be served with a grace that covers error and a love that has no condition.

Thicker Than Water is the young black South African girl-child’s companion. A place where they are both seen and guided. A cautionary tale told with heart and filled with empathy.