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“You are too close to the water”, Paul whispered. “There are barbels in the mud. They will wake up if you step on them.”
When Paul and Dominique are sent to boarding schools in Natal, their idyllic childhood on a Free State farm is over. Their parents and leftist politics has made life impossible in the local dorp school. Angry schoolboy Paul is a promising poet, his sister his confidant. But his literary awakening turns into a descent. He flees the oppression of South Africa, only to meet his death in London.
Dominique Botha’s poignant debut is an elegy to a rural existence and her brother – both now forever lost. The novel is based on true events.