Shanti, a bright teenager stifled by life in rural India and facing an arranged marriage, dreams that South Africa is an opportunity to start afresh. The Colony of Natal is where Shanti believes she can escape the poverty, caste, and troubling fate of young girls in her village. Months later, after a harrowing sea voyage, she arrives in Natal only to discover the profound hardship and slave labour that await her.
Spanning four decades and two continents, Children of Sugarcane demonstrates the lifegiving power of love, heartache, and the indestructible bonds between family and friends. These bonds prompt heroism and sacrifice, the final act of which leads to Shanti’s redemption.