Best Book Publishers UK | Austin Macauley Publishers
The Top Storey-bookcover

By: Davina Valdez

The Top Storey

Pages: 222 Ratings: 4.9
Book Format: Choose an option

*Available directly from our distributors, click the Available On tab below

Keelyn O’Reilly’s world is thrown into chaos when his daughter makes a life decision that threatens to bring shame to his family. He’ll do whatever it takes to protect his reputation and preserve his traditional views.

Lana O’Reilly is shocked to discover the oppressive influence of apartheid South Africa’s bigotry on her community. When her father’s narrow-mindedness clashes with her own values, she must choose between conforming to his expectations or standing up for what she believes in.

Davina is an educationist who lives in South Africa. A widow with five adult children and many grandchildren, she loves reading, cooking, sleepovers with the grandchildren and meandering at least thrice weekly along the hills in her suburb. She was initiated into reading at the age of twelve when she had to read romance novels to her grandmother whose eyesight was failing. Her grandmother and mother were great storytellers and having listened to many true-life stories, she decided to try her hand at creating and writing one of her own. Her story is grounded in witnessing how human nature unfolds in the daily lives of people around her.

Customer Reviews
7 reviews
7 reviews
  • Gloria Gkikas

    A powerful and authentic inaugural work by the author.
    This is a story of a young woman born into a segment of the population of South Africa, with its people, a mixed bag of personalities who make up a community that is curiously closed and yet still searching for that psychological complexity- called ‘identity’.
    At heart it’s a story of love and hate, totally gripping in its marvellous portrayal of human failings and foibles…
    The character of Lana has so much personality in these pages that one is affected by her quest for her own personhood and the triumph of love and reconciliation at the end…beautifully observed, enjoyable and entirely original…

    Mrs Gloria Gkikas {Psychologist & Speech Therapist}
    BA (Health Science and Social Services) Psychological Counselling – UNISA 2007.
    BA Hon. (Psychology)- UNISA 2009
    BA (Speech, Language and Hearing Therapy)- WITS1986
    BA Hon. (AAC) – UP 2016
    PYC206-B (AIDS/HIV Care and Counselling)- UNISA 2005
    Level 6 (Training Assessor- Moderator)– Assessment College of SA 2010.
    Level 5 (Job Coach- The recruitment and retention of employees with disabilities)- BFG 2013

  • Janine, Johannesburg, South Africa

    A riveting read!

    From the time I picked up the book I couldn’t put it down. I was reading till bizarre hours of the morning.

    I felt so connected to the characters in the story … like I truly knew them. This may be because I live in a coloured community in SA and can identify.

    I was so emotionally involved in the story that both Chapter 4 and Chapter 10 made me cry.

    What an experience!


  • Elaine

    The author has given an honest and riveting account of the prevailing prejudices at the time among the
    Coloured community in South Africa. The story revolving around this lifestyle reveals indisputable facts
    that had far-reaching consequences. The author explores typical experiences of such a family very vividly.
    The Top Storey is thus a thought-provoking story that keeps the reader spell-bound to the very end.

  • Sherreen

    A very good storyline and i was impressed with the way the author presented the dialogue between the characters.
    I found the love scenes reminiscent of the Mills & Boon style, but in view of the fact that this is a love story built around the issues of race, gender and socioeconomics it will hold.
    There were sections of the book that made me very emotional; had ne tearing a bit.

    The interpersonal dynamics between the main characters is a good presentation and invitation for readers to reflect on their personal experiences and examine how discrimination affected and continues to impact social interactions and group cohesion.

    By and large a very good read; providing a vehicle to inform and one which enables reflection on what happened then and perhaps ponder on why so little has changed.

  • Cherise

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. The central idea of how bigotry can tear a family apart is one that runs across race, religion, social status, and many other societal dimensions. This could have been a Muslim boy wanting to marry a Hindu girl or the son of a farmer wanting to marry the daughter of a Wall Street investment banker or two people from different tribes wanting to marry. The bigotry of the father runs so deep that he was willing to cut his own daughter off - this was very painful.

    This story takes you through many emotions as the dominant characters make decisions that make you wish you could pick up the phone and call them and ask them what they are thinking and why they are doing that! It's easy to get immersed in their world and feel all sorts of emotions when their decisions play out in a certain way.

    One idea that I was left with after reading this book is how the bigotry and discrimination meted out by members of family or communities end up leaving the targeted individuals carrying guilt and shame of not being good enough - no matter how much they may be able to achieve other aspects of life. This emotional trauma is something that ends up driving them to behave and think in a way that ultimately perpetuates the cycle.

    This book brilliantly weaves all of these complex issues together, underlined by a love story filled with deep passion and energy.

    A wonderfully entertaining read!

  • Miranda Davids

    I could not put this book down. Well written, easy to read. It pulls in you from the first paragraph, keeping your attention and curiosity to know what happens next. A true reflection of how apartheid and prejudice have damaged society, that for years, has measured beauty, intelligence, integrity, and the worth of man, but the skin-deep markers of hair and complexion.

  • Dr Leila Hassim MA(lit) PHD (lit)

    For those who enjoy romance novels The Top Story is a treat. The narrative is framed by a colonised consciousness sub-text, an extant legacy of the then South African National Party’s Apartheid governing system. The titular character is as endearing as is her errant beloved. One is engaged in the waves of emotions that the couple experiences whilst they navigate their way through the structural forces of their environment. The Top Story is also a recommended read for those who enjoy a heartwarming and at times heartbreaking romance novel that illustrates distinctions between Coloured South Africans – a misrepresented and under-represented South African racial group – and their racial counterparts. An easy to digest and engaging read.

Write a Review
Your post will be reviewed and published soon. Multiple reviews on one book from the same IP address will be deleted.

We use cookies on this site to enhance your user experience and for marketing purposes.
By clicking any link on this page you are giving your consent for us to set cookies