About the book
An old woman is dying of cancer in Cape Town. A classics professor, Mrs Curren has always been opposed to the brutality of apartheid, but has lived insulated from its true horrors. Now she is suddenly forced to come to terms with the iron-hearted rage that the system has wrought. In an extended letter addressed to her daughter, who has long since fled to America, Mrs Curren recounts the strange events of her dying days. She witnesses the burning of a nearby black township; discovers the bullet-riddled body of her servant’s son, and a teenage black activist hiding in her house is killed by security forces. And through it all, her only companion is a homeless man, an alcoholic who appears on her doorstep.
Reviewed by Victoria Book Group:
We had an extremely in depth discussion. J M Coetzee’s writing was thought provoking – raising almost as many questions as he provided answers. The main character was not easy to empathise with and in fact one member actually disliked her! Was Ace…..? black or white? A thoroughly good read giving rise to a full hour of discussion.
Star rating: ****