An Observer, Guardian, Financial Times, Sunday Times South Africa, Irish Times, Irish Independent, Big Issue and Strong Words Pick of the Year
An Irish Times and The Times Summer Reading Pick
Shortlisted for the Saltire Society Fiction Book of the Year Award
Shortlisted for the London Magazine Debut Fiction Prize 2020
Longlisted for HWA Debut Crown 2020
‘Beautifully written and emotionally devastating’ Daily Mail
A beautiful and heart-breaking story set in South Africa where two mothers – a century apart – must fight for their sons, unaware their fates are inextricably linked.
Orange Free State, 1901. At the height of the Boer War, Sarah van der Watt and her six-year-old son Fred can only watch as the British burn their farm. The polite invaders cart them off to Bloemfontein Concentration Camp promising you will be safe here.
Johannesburg, 2010. Sixteen-year-old Willem is an outsider who just wants to be left alone with his Harry Potter books and Britney, his beloved pug. Worried he’s turning out soft, his Ma and her new boyfriend send him to New Dawn Safari Camp, where they ‘make men out of boys.’ Guaranteed.
The red earth of the veldt keeps countless secrets whether beaten by the blistering sun or stretching out beneath starlit stillness. But no secret can stay buried forever.