The Ones With Purpose is a book that tells the story of loss, grief and the many sorrowful emotions that come with these.

“An unexpected calm descends upon our house as we gather in the family room. Although nobody says it, we are all thinking it: Fikile is finally resting.”

The Mabuzas in many ways were still dealing with the loss of the patriarchy when cancer appears to rear its ugly head with Fikile, the eldest child and daughter of the family. Fikile remained optimistic and decided she was going to fight cancer. All seemed to be going well until it took away Fikile.

Dysfunctional family dynamics, mother-daughter relationship, grief, loss, postpartum depression, gender bias, infidelity, broken marriages, family, alcoholism amongst other themes in the book. Each theme hits close to home and every reader may be able to see a bit of themselves in this work of art. The tone of this book is very sombre while allowing a sprinkle of humour a few times in its pages.

The writing is rich and thought-provoking but it left me wondering about Anele’s sense of obligation, Mbuso’s anger, Fikile’s sacrifices, the children’s innocence, their mother’s regrets and extended family’s intrusion. However, I will say this book is an honest read.

Should You Read?

If are looking for something sombre while showcasing much about family dynamics in South Africa, you should definitely pick this up.