Reeva, A Mother’s Story provides fascinating insight
I CONFESS, I believed Oscar Pistorius' claims he had mistaken Reeva Steenkamp for an intruder when he shot her four times in a locked toilet cubicle in his luxury South African home.
I've lived in South Africa, I know the pervasive fear surrounding your every move that you are about to be a victim of an attack.
It is very real, terrifying and it could easily lead people to make snap judgments, as I believed Pistorius had, which could have disastrous consequences.
But now I've read Reeva's mother, June's, book, "Reeva, A mother's Story" and I am no longer sure.
June Steenkamp was the silent face of the family throughout the "trial of the century" as Pistorius was found not guilty of murder.
Instead, he was convicted of culpable homicide and sentenced to five years.
Mrs Steenkamp doesn't hold back her views in the book that she believes Pistorius murdered her daughter.
And it is fascinating seeing the case through her eyes.
The woman had never even met Reeva's latest superstar boyfriend until the trial.
She comes across as a typical, quiet living, hardworking woman living in a country defined by violence.
In a recent BBC World Service interview Mrs Steenkamp says Pistorius had a very controlling relationship with her daughter and had terrorised her.
This is the same view she shares in her book.
What is also clear is how much her daughter meant to her and also what a wonderful person Reeva clearly was in the eyes of so many people.
The defining characteristic of the book though is what Mrs Steenkamp does with her grief and anger.
It is not a booked marked by a mother's bitterness and desire for revenge.
Instead, there is forgiveness and even acceptance of Pistorius sentence which could see him out of jail in 10 months.
People across the world who have been fascinated by Reeva's story will enjoy this book.
While Mrs Steenkamp's grief permeates every page, the book also details the forensic evidence in the case and makes for a light, interesting read.
This was even more so in my case as Mrs Steenkamp lived in my last permanent address in South Africa, Port Elizabeth and it was wonderful to revisit some of my old haunts through her eyes.
Reeva, A Mother's Story should be a book considered for the Christmas stocking of people who enjoy a good read, based on actual events.
Sold By Hachette UK, it is available in all good book stores or online for $14.99.