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Book Nook: The Monster's Daughter, by Michelle Pretorius

When Michelle Pretorius was growing up in South Africa she led a very insulated existence. That was just the way it was back in those days and she didn't realize until later that she had missed out on a lot. She also began to understand that her knowledge about the history of her country was not that good. As she researched South Africa's past she decided that some of that history could become the launching point for a wildly imaginative novel.

In "The Monster's Daughter" Pretorius has made her sparkling debut. The book unfolds along two alternating timelines. The author's fictional pendulum swings back and forth between a murder investigation that is taking place in a small town in rural South Africa and a slowly accelerating storyline that surges across the 20th Century. That storyline opens as  a series of hideous experiments were taking place over a century ago during that nation's Boer War.

In this interview the author describes how a real person, a Nazi, was the inspiration for her mad scientist doctor character, the architect of those cruel experiments. There's no proof that this sort of thing actually happened during the Boer War. Two characters in the novel are the products of those experiments. Both characters are aging very slowly and they are still living over a century later as the two alternating timelines converge.

The main character, a young woman who is investigating this homicide for the South African Police, is determined to solve this crime. As she digs deeper she makes some horrifying and bizarre discoveries. After you listen to my conversation with Michelle Pretorius I hope that of some of you will have had your literary taste buds well whetted to explore this sizzling story.

The Book Nook on WYSO is made possible by six local library systems in southwest Ohio:  the Greene County Public LibraryWashington-Centerville Public Library, MidPointe Library SystemClark County Public Library, Dayton Metro Library, and Wright Memorial Public Library.

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Vick Mickunas introduced the Book Nook author interview program for WYSO in 1994. Over the years he has produced more than 1500 interviews with writers, musicians, poets, politicians, and celebrities. Listen to the Book Nook with Vick Mickunas for intimate conversations about books with the writers who create them. Vick Mickunas reviews books for the Dayton Daily News and the Springfield News Sun.