Paris 1505. Tragedy strikes at the rue Daniel bookshop of Arnoul De La Porte. Alone with his little son Paoul, he finds comfort in the writings of Luther and becomes involved in the illegal Reformation Movement. As Huguenot heretics, his descendants must walk a dangerous tightrope of pretence to prevent being executed. Luc is betrayed and escapes to relatives in Flanders with Sibylle, the daughter of his Protestant mentor.
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That was how it had been with her marriage.
Say ‘yes’ and the road would take you. Say ‘yes’, say ‘yes’. The road had taken him right through to the end of his life and she had completed the circle with him.
It had been rugged in places and the tyres had worn thin. But in the end it had been a complete journey. A lifetime.
A shared incarnation. She had said ‘yes’ and travelled with him to the last breath. There is a last. She had been with him. And then her incarnation continued without him.
The famous story of Odysseus’s long journey home after the Trojan War, comprising some history and a whole lot of mythology, becomes the subject of this classical, yet essentially modern, novel.
The trials that King Odysseus must endure in strange lands and the lonely vigil of his Queen Penelope during his absence – all this will be familiar territory for many readers. What makes the novel so compelling are the psychological depths to which the author takes the reader in bringing his characters to life.
The world is ending. People, animals, plants – there is a universal dying-off of the planet. Rumours persist of a reprieve but none appears. Two dogs and their human companions bond, as they trace a vivid circuit in a region not dissimilar to Cape Town; they encounter the violence and decay as they travel, struggling to survive. It’s a tough passage through societies of degradation and unsettled by a war beyond the mountains that encircle them.