Gem Squash Tokoloshe
'She just sat there hardly moving, staring at the drive. Black marks formed under her eyes where her lashes bled their waxy coating onto her skin. Her rouged cheeks were smudged. Mother looked like she was melting in the heat.'
When the rain stops, Faith's father takes to the road as a travelling salesman, leaving Faith and her mother, Bella, alone on their drought-stricken farm in the Northern Transvaal. Together they keenly await his weekend visits, until one day he stops coming altogether and Bella's health begins to decline.
Fifteen years later Bella has died, incarcerated in the Sterkfontein asylum for the criminally insane. Faith has not spoken to her mother for ten years and is on the brink of a breakdown of her own. Now, with her mother's death, she inherits the farm... and must return to confront the dark mysteries of the past.
In prose as lithe and imaginative as that of Alexandra Fuller, Rachel Zadok re-creates the voice of a young girl growing up during the height of apartheid unrest in South Africa. As Faith struggles to make sense of the complex world in which she lives and come to terms with the beliefs her society and upbringing have inculcated in her, there emerges a richly compelling, emotionally resonant tale of courage set against the backdrop of a chaotically divided, beautiful country.
Year published: 2005
Sub-genre: Historical fiction, fantasy
Imprint: Pan Books
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