Novel exciting and full of energy

Heleen pleads with her brother Marlouw to return to South Africa, "a bloody country", and to find her son Koert.

Heleen pleads with her brother Marlouw to return to South Africa, "a bloody country", and to find her son Koert.

She had not spoken to her son for about two years after he left Melbourne in Australia, because he wanted to see the farm in Maitlands that his grandparent's once owned.

He also wanted to see what was happening there.

Marlouw, who has a club foot, decides to transfer the title deed of the farm to the three families who worked there when Heleen's and his parents died.

He had never thought that he would return to South Africa, a country he had sworn he would never ever set foot in after emigrating, least of all to look for a nephew who left the family to settle in South Africa.

Heleen's anxiety changes his mind but he also makes the trip for his own sake and for his salvation.

When Marlouw arrives on the farm the smells are different. None of the things that he remembers about the farm exist.

Koert is a trencherman. He has built himself an empire known as King of Meat. He rules everything in the district. When people don't listen to him or carry out his orders, he makes them disappear.

Koert is now plump, bedridden and suffers from gangrene. He suffers extensive injuries when residents of the nearby township attack him. He is eventually finished off by the farm workers during a feast he had suggested they should have.

Marlouw has one thing to be proud of - to return to South Africa and not to deceive his sister or his nephew.

Though it was interesting to see author Eben Venter write in isiXhosa, I was irritated that he got a word right the first time and then wrong a hundred times afterwards. He misspelt most of the Xhosa words.

Apart from that, the novel is exciting and full of energy. I could hardly put it down.

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