From the acclaimed and award-winning author of What Will People Say?, Rehana Rossouw takes us into a world seemingly filled with promise yet bedevilled by shadows from the past. In this astonishing tour de force Rossouw illuminates the tensions inherent in these new times.
Ali Adams is a political reporter in Parliament. As Nelson Mandela begins his second year as president, she discovers that his party is veering off the path to freedom and drafting a new economic policy that makes no provision for the poor. She follows the scent of corruption wafting into the new democracy’s politics and uncovers a major scandal. She compiles stories that should be heard when the Truth Commission gets underway, reliving the recent brutal past. Her friend Lizo works in the Presidency, controls access to Madiba’s ear. Another friend, Munier, is beating at the gates of Parliament, demanding attention for the plague stalking the land.
Aaliyah Adams lives with her devout Muslim family in Bo-Kaap. Her mother is buried in religion after losing her husband. Her best friend is getting married, piling up the pressure to get settled and pregnant. There is little tolerance for alternative lifestyles in the close-knit community. The Rugby World Cup starts and tourists pour up the slopes above the city, discovering a hidden gem their dollars can afford.
Ali/Aaliya is trapped with her family and friends in a tangle of razor-wire politics and culture, can she break free?
Told with Rehana’s trademark verve and exquisite attention to language you will weep with Aaliya, triumph with Ali, and fall in love with the assemblage that makes up this ravishing new novel.