Set against the convulsive backdrop of war and a country s death throes, explores themes of loss, guilt and redemption in an Africa that is at once grotesque, poignant and beautiful; told through the story of two young girls.
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 far 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.
'Full of memorable characters and flavoured with the intensity of childhood, this is a debut that stays with the reader long after the last page is read' - WATERSTONE'S BOOKS QUARTERLY
An evocative debut . . . told from the vantage point of an eight-year-old girl growing up on an isolated farm: a small world in human terms but enriched by the sights and smells of Africa - MAIL ON SUNDAY
'Excellent and unsettling... The details are astonishingly vivid: Rhodesia springs to fecund, fetid life before your eyes. What s especially impressive is the way Liebenberg avoids the overcooked beauty that characterises so many self-consciously literary first efforts . It is immediate, vivid and rarely judgemental, like the children at its heart. It is also charming, upsetting and poignantly strange to a reader who knows little of southern Africa and its recent history - a book that, like the dreaded guineaworm, burrows deep under your skin - Carrie O Grady, GUARDIAN