This historical novel evokes, from a distance, the growing tensions caused by the uitlander question and the Jameson Raid in the Transvaal, and their culmination in the Anglo-Boer War. It is a sympathetic, insider's portrayal of the anguish of South Africa's 'civil war' – from the perspective of a rural village in the Cape Colony where English- and Dutch-speaking subjects of Alexandrina Victoria had for decades lived in harmony. The incursion of Boer commandos into the north-western Cape and the proclamation of martial law by the British authorities shattered the quiet, idyllic world in which the author grew up. Disquiet at the presumption of Boer forces enticing local residents into rebellion and treason, the penalty for which was death, is matched by outrage at the crude offensiveness of martial law, and the author gives a wonderfully nuanced account of conflicting loyalties.

ISBN 9780620376679

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