“A family saga that moves from the 1980s to the present, it’s a complex, ambitious and brilliant work—one that provides Galgut’s fullest exploration yet of the poisonous legacy of apartheid.
Yet it is only at the very end — as one emerges, blinking, from the dark and airless pages — that one realises just how neatly the novel’s themes have mapped on to those of the country in which it is set. The Swarts may be, as the narrator says, “just an ordinary bunch of white South Africans”. And yet they stand for something larger. Exploitation and appropriation; property taken and not given back; a sense of restitution always coming too late. Isn’t this the story, too, of modern South Africa?”
Read the full review in the Financial Times.