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Forget-Me-Not-Blues. Tafelberg, 2012

A letter from Portugal makes Colette Cronjé remember everything she has spent a lifetime trying to forget. The sender is a long-lost relative, found after a decades-long search, and the letter is about saudade, the love that remains after its object has gone.

It’s a love that has shaped the lives of three generations of women, trapped between leaving and staying, and between what is unbearable to remember and impossible to forget.

Colette is too cautious to change her destiny, her daughter Nandi is too angry to prevent her own. Can Colette’s granddaughter, Tina, find the courage to write a redemptive ending for a family she has never known? Spanning seven decades of South Africa’s social and political evolution, recorded with insight, accuracy and humour, Forget-me-not Blues is above all a novel about family, secrets and the small falsehoods and sweeping deceptions that keep us together while they tear us apart. And memory is the sleeping dog in an unforgettable love story that makes us long to believe that even saudade can have a happy ending.

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