A stunning novel of war, from the bestselling author of RED DUST and ICE ROAD.
It is 1884. In Khartoum, General Gordon stands on the roof of his fortress as the city is besieged. He has vowed to fight the Mahdi to the death. At his side is the boy he rescued from the English dockyardslums - his reluctant last ally. Approaching with the Camel Corps is a young doctor who has joined the expedition to rescue Gordon. As the men make agonising progress across the desert, John Clarke struggles to be the hero of his imagining, while his abandoned wife, Mary, troubles his conscience.
Back in London, as controversy rages over the expedition, Mary finds herself adrift and isolated. Her only release comes from laudanum, an addiction that will take her into Victorian London's darkest corners.
AN HONOURABLE MAN is a novel of extraordinary power that combines the intimate and the epic, exploring the folly of Empire through the fine grain of human experience and emotion.
For all that it's a beautifully drawn historical novel, the questions raised in Gillian Slovo's 1884-set novel about the colonial war in Sudan feel oddly contemporary . . . Slovo humanises the lives of people caught up in the conflict at the same time as highlighting the moral ambiguities and personal cost that warfare entails - Metro - Tina Jackson
Slovo's descriptions are stunning, the simplicity of her language conjuring images of visceral vividness. John is a terrific creation . . . His emotional awakening is complex and profound . . .
Slovo explores the essential nature of goodness . . . She is too subtle a writer to offer easy answers but, in this perceptive novel, she compels us to ask ourselves what it means to be an honourable man - Guardian - Clare Clark
A restrained and elegant novel, in parts rich and memorable - Sunday Telegraph - Toby Clements
An intelligent and gripping novel . . . triumphantly successful. Slovo's portrayal of the physical and mental hardships, even horrors, of the march is an extraordinarily fine piece of historical imagination. There is a tremendous battle scent and rich humour - Scotsman - Allan Massie