by Michelle Pretorius
Publisher: Melville House
Buy the Book: Amazon
Goodreads: Somewhere on the South African veldt, 1901: At the height of the Boer War, a doctor at a British concentration camp conducts a series of grim experiments on Boer prisoners. His work ends in chaos, but two children survive: a boy named Benjamin, and a girl named Tessa.
One hundred years later, a disgraced young police constable is reassigned to the sleepy South African town of Unie, where she makes a terrifying discovery: the body of a young woman, burned beyond recognition.
The crime soon leads her into her country's violent past a past that includes her father, a high-ranking police official under the apartheid regime, and the children left behind in that long ago concentration camp.
Kritters Thoughts: When pitched this book to read, I knew this would be out of my comfort zone and it excited me to try it. With that, it took me a lot longer to read than my usual reads and I liked slowly taking in a book for a change!
Set in South Africa in two different time periods but each storyline centers around the inability for the two races in South Africa to coexist. This causes major violence and even a war and this story takes you into the nitty gritty of this time and place and how the pain lingered for decades.
I knew only a smidgen about apartheid and South Africa, so first this book was a history lesson for me and made me go to wikipedia for more - I love when a book spurs me to do a little research and learn something.
The characters were great. Although with a few interesting names, it was easy to keep them straight and eventually figure out how the two storylines converge. I loved how they were written to converge at a certain spot and it completely worked for me.
After reading, I discovered this was a debut and it took my breath away! I loved that this author came out of the gate with a great piece of work and art and it usually takes a few books for me to become a fan of an author - not this time, I am a fan!
Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one copy of this book free of charge from MHP Books. I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.