A struggle to find better life

Title: Choke Chain

Title: Choke Chain

Author: Jason Donald

Publisher: Random House

Reviewer: Andile April

Choke Chain is a novel about the childhood experiences of a typical white South African boy during the 1980s.

Alex Thorne is a 12-year-old who lives with his younger brother Kevin and his parents in a poor Mzansi neighbourhood.

Alex and Kevin are impoverished and their mother, Grace, struggles to look after them. Apart from the boys' childhood lessons, they also find out about deceit, crime and violence.

And the master of these teachings is their devious, self-centred and volatile father, Bruce, who sees the world as a battleground and who involves his sons in a fraud at a department store.

Ruling the family through fear, it is only when he abandons them for a teenage lover that their problems really begin.

Exposing the rotten, insidious patterns of fathering that most societies still ignore, Choke Chain shows two boys struggling to find steady ground in a disintegrating household.

The boys learn that not all grown ups are right and true, and that some are also evil .