Saturday, October 29, 2011

Review of Consumption: A Novel by G. S. Johnston - 5 stars!

Title: Consumption: A Novel
Release date: 2011
Published by: Independently
Reading level: FICTION – Adult: Contemporary Novel
Pages: 197 pages in Kindle
Source: Ebook received from the author for reviewing

Summary from author’s webpage:

In the dying days of British Hong Kong, Sara Sexton, upon breaking up with a Greek lover, visits her old friend Martin Blake, a high-profile, high-dollar interior designer. She finds him greatly changed since their playground days in Australia. His razor-edge wit is all but gone, and has been largely replaced by a fondness for designer shoes, cars and exotic house servants. Even though she can barely recognize him, she feels that the secret they shared in the past – the secret that led to Sara’s breakup – is still enough to bind the two together. Friendships, especially friendships as deep-running as theirs, are worth fighting for. Or are they?

This suspenseful story, set in Hong Kong and Sydney, Australia, shows the effects of a lifetime friendship going toxic as modern life pulls the once quasi-siblings in opposite directions. As Sara embarks on a simpler life, Martin becomes increasingly complex and erratic. Eventually Sara is forced to a terrible choice in the name of self-preservation, and choices can have terrible consequences.

I would like to start with a remark, that this is the first contemporary author I read that is from Tanzania and lives in Australia. I think the fact that Estonian is reviewing a book from Tanzanian author is so weird and so cool. The world has become a very small place to live.

My review:

Consumption: A Novel is a book which will haunt you for long time after you finish reading it. It is that good! It was a very good and easy read, the language was very professional and the story itself very captivating. This book is about friendship, letting go and cutting the relationships. It’s a sad and happy story in the same time. I would highly recommend this book to people who love serious novels. I said, it was easy to read, but you should be warned that the topics which the novel touches are complicated. It’s a story about human behavior through friendship. Friendship which consumes everything and everybody you have. It’s a must read!

Regarding the plot:

The story follows friendship between Sara Sexton and her childhood friend Martin Blake through decades. It starts with Sara visiting Martin where Sara realizes that Martin has changed into high-profile interior designer in Hong-Kong.

Their friendship changes, especially after Sara is meeting Andy. Martin gets more possessive over his friendship with Sara and Sara’s life is suffering due to that.

The plot flows. There is not much action in the book, but it keeps you interested until the last page is turned. It shows the best and worst parts of friendship and how it can influence your life and your world.

Regarding the characters:

I felt for Sara and was sometimes really annoyed by the fact that she kept the friendship alive and did not want to let go of Martin. In the same time I felt sympathy for her. She was a strong woman with one specific weakness – her friendship with Martin. Martin was so complex until you found out what was wrong with him. He seemed empty as a person, but still very interesting as a character.

In my opinion there was a third main character as well – consumption. Be it consuming goods or people, the consumption played a huge role in this book.


If you like contemporary novels, this book is a must read. It is painful, but brilliant book!

5 Flowers!
5 stars.


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