The Love Factory (2018)
Anna is a writer whose small but perfectly formed novels sell poorly. When she falls on hard times and tries her hand at erotic fiction, she faces an uncomfortable truth. Though she is in a long marriage, and the mother of two, her stories fail to fly because she’s never experienced true sexual desire. Even her Sicilian grandmother – wearer of diamante sunglasses and knock-off Louis Vuitton – knows more than she does about true passion.
A romance-writing workshop doesn’t help, but Cordelia, a classmate, suggests she borrows an alter ego to banish her inhibitions, a new world opens up to Anna and The Love Factory – a group of writers penning ever more successful sexy stories – is born.
The more Anna writes, the more she sees that for the sake of her stories, and her life, she needs to risk a proper love of her own.
Karen Mace’s review of The Love Factory:
“I found this to be an intelligent, fun and sexy read that was a pleasant surprise as I really didn’t know what to expect from this book! Karen Mace’s review
Goodreads reader review by Jax:
“A beautiful book. I loved the pace and the build. I felt for Anna and her circumstances, how the family was placed in its setting, and her relationships with her friends/colleagues. I was rooting for her the whole time. Cordelia was a solid spunky addition to the story. The stories within a story all worked beautifully. You always wanted more from the Love Factory tales from the Love Factory as did the fictitious customers.Highly recommended.
The Savage Hour (2014)
De Wildt, South Africa. On an oppressively hot day, an elderly doctor is found drowned in the dam on her home farm by her sixteen-year-old granddaughter. She slipped to her death. Bereft, her community remembers a matriarch of fierce spirit, whose talent for healing and instinct for trouble brought solace to the people yet failed her children. But her granddaughter and detective friend come to question the cause of her death – threatening to expose the fractures in the family with one insistent doubt: she did not slip. From this discovery, this loss, ripples of disquiet will spread beyond the family; extending to servants and to farmhands; to the police, hospital and town beyond. All must face the wave that turns them from the course of their lives, or be swept under.
This beautifully written book, peopled with rich characters and concerned with eternal questions about love, loyalty, living and dying, may be too leisurely to make it an excellent ‘crime novel’. But as a novel whose plot happens to be based on a criminal act, it is outstanding (Literary Review)
A compelling read (Fabric Magazine)
The 21st century’s South African To Kill a Mockingbird (Social Bookshelves)
The Savage Hour is an excellent, thoughtful book, written in a lyrical and intensely visual manner which no doubt owes something to Proctor’s earlier career as a film-maker . . . This is not a crime novel, though the progress of the investigation moves the plot along, coming to a satisfying conclusion. It is a profound and deeply moving exploration of relationships, within and outside families, on and off the farm. The characters are unforgettable . . . Proctor explores them with a deft touch, presenting them as flawed but human. The Savage Hour is a superb novel that offers a fascinating picture of contemporary South Africa and a profound exploration of the human condition. I doubt that this year will bring along much to top it. (Margaret von Klemperer)
Intense and beautifully written . . . A complex and deeply satisfying meditation on the weighty matters of being human . . . Deeply moving (Boykey Sidley – Book buff)BUY
Ten-year-old Flambeau waits for his young mother to arrive from the Congo, along the same dangerous route that the human traffickers smuggled him. Homesick and pining for love, he sees a glimpse of life in his young neighbor, Eleanor, and her gangster boyfriend, Knight – a fellow Congolese.
Eleanor, a pale Scottish beauty, offers Flambeau the warmth and empathy that London has hitherto failed to provide; while Knight – dressed to the nines and dressed to kill – might just have the contacts to find Flambeau’s mother, Bijou.
But Knight’s past is so troubled, and his present so dangerous, that to challenge the traffickers to find Bijou might be more than his life is worth – something neither a lovesick girl nor a ten-year-old boy can be expected to understand.
“…a proper and compelling piece of fiction, complete with a succession of terrific set pieces and a touching plot about a ten-year-old boy’s quest for his mother. Books with this kind of obvious social aim can be worthy but dull. This, to its great credit, is worthy and thrilling.” (Daily Mail)
“This vivid novel plunges us into a world of shifting morality where image is all-important and many truths lie behind the facades.” (Tribune)BUY