This Might Sting a Bit
Everyone loves the Hay family. Down to earth Zimbabwean farmers. Quirkiest of all, Grandpa is the glue that holds them all together. Teenage Chris, the eldest child, is earmarked to be the next family addict as he’s never said no to a high, but then his younger sister Kat takes a blow to the head – she’s not a natural in stilettos – and things change.
Chronic pain follows her into adulthood, but doctors are short on answers and throw prescriptions at the problem. Kat feels perfectly justified in munching the painkillers, and when that’s not enough, she makes another plan. From the life of the party to self-centred addict, the ground rushes up to meet her. Her mother Gill leads the crusade on Kat’s problem but lets a few skeletons out of her own closest. Mom’s hardly squeaky clean herself.
Utterly broken, Kat finally accepts help and crawls into treatment in South Africa as there are no options in Zimbabwe. It’s a bone-rattling detox and a rough five weeks during which she wears far more mascara on her cheeks than eyes. Her counsellors chip away at her, getting every speck of denial out while her eccentric fellow inmates teach her how to laugh again.
Back home, clean and a lot more grounded, Kat starts to mend her many shattered relationships. Her mother’s final secret comes out, changing the family forever but allowing her to pursue a dream.
This Might Sting A Bit quickly draws the reader into a warm story of hope and survival. It uses a lighter approach to shine a light into some of society’s darkest corners. Above all, it is a story about being able to laugh at one’s self.
Meet Kat. Just a regular teenager growing up on a Zimbabwean farm. Full of fun, but sensible – her brother and grandfather are far more suited to the role of family nutters.
Then a tragic accident takes her – slowly, insidiously – from her idyllic world into a darker reality. Chronic pain leads her to a stormy love affair with pharmaceuticals and into a battle she seems unlikely to win. Playing fast and loose with their prescription pads, doctors help set the scene for Kat’s utter destruction. In treatment, a group of colourful characters do their best to draw her from the dark underbelly of life, back into a lighter world.
In the background, skeletons continue to tumble from the family closet with Kat’s mother saving the best for last.