by Lauren Liebenberg - £8.99 Virago Press (2009)
paperback ISBN 13: 9781844084685 | ISBN 10: 184408468x
Shortlisted for the Orange Prize for New Writers.
Nyree and Cia live on a remote farm in the east of what was Rhodesia in the late 1970s. Beneath the dripping vines of the Vumba rainforest, and under the tutelage of their heretical grandfather, theirs is a seductive childhood laced with African paganism, mangled Catholicism and the lore of the Brothers Grimm. Their world extends as fas as the big fence, erected to keep out the 'Terrs' whom their father is off fighting. The two girls know little beyond that until the arrival from the outside world of 'the bastard', their orphaned cousin Ronin, who is to poison their idyll for ever.
"Astonishingly vivid; Rhodesia springs to fecund, fetid life before your eyes... the foretaste of decay, of the end to come [is] subtly conveyed to us through Liebenberg's skilful writing... it is immediate, vivid and rarely judgemental."
(Carrie O'Grady, Guardian)
"A magical evocation of childhood."
"This is an outstanding first novel."
(Price & availability last checked: September 2018)