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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Gabriel Kutama, an elderly illegal from across the border, is mugged at a Soweto taxi rank. He ends up at the house of Portia, a single mother who tends to his bruises. She allows him to stay on in a room at the back of her house.
But Gabriel is no ordinary man, for he is the former President of the country north of the South African border, presumed dead after a military coup. His wife has fled to London with their three children.
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.
‘Mama…where is my Daddy?’
As a single mother Thuli has always tried to do her best for her daughter, living each day with the legacy of her past. But even she may not be able to give Lesedi the one thing she really needs. Unless life with its unexpected twists and turns finds a way to provide.
A tale of love and lies, hopes and dreams.
From the author of Gabriel’s Apology.
Evelyn walked towards the cluster of flame lilies, each one a cup of flickering scarlet edged with trickling gold, growing up from the deep, rich, red African soil. She bent down gently stretched her arms around them, just able to touch her fingers
together, and breathed in deeply. The smell of green … only here on this land.
In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s three young people, whose life experiences and personalities couldn’t be more different, and each of whom carry deep emotional scars travel to Tanzania.
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.