Jay Gubula Releases 'There Are Only So Many Tomorrows'
Gubula's new novel, There Are Only So Many Tomorrows, is about romance born in the intensely divisive and violent climate of South Africa under Afrikaans rule - when apartheid was a way of life and the white government gave away with one hand and took with the other. Jay Gubula revisits her country's recent past to create a moving, realistic picture of how the most innocent of romances can turn into the most bitterly fought battle in the political climate of those times.
Two men in 1980s Pietermaritzburg are drawn to the same woman, Abigail "Abby" Lukhele. The intensity of their feelings for her are perhaps indicative of how native Africans felt under a regime that dispossessed them even as it exploited their country and their people. They represent differing perspectives within the political movements that professed the same intense love for their homeland. Historically, only one view would win out in the end, and the two men's struggle for Abby's heart becomes symbolic of the tragic, violence-fraught concerns in the destruction of apartheid rule and how South Africans became fully committed to fighting for the right to run their own country. Although Gubula tells a straightforward story, a narrative that displays a culture under great pressure to knuckle under white rule, the symbols and powerful emotional currents of her novel's timeline cannot be ignored.
The two rivals quickly become each other's nemesis in a society where resistance of any kind often invited executions, factional clashes, clandestine activity, treachery and entrapment. Young Abby unwittingly becomes the object of a dangerous obsession as the rivals, not content with displacing the other in her affections, play to ensure the other's annihilation. None would foresee the theatre their deadly encounter would be staged on. It culminates in a clash that potentially destabilizes the entire region and, for one of them, leaves a lasting legacy of shattered hopes, broken dreams, and a life destroyed.