407pp., paperback, Cape Town, 2019
A novel in memoriam of Reverend Stephen Mtutuko Mnyakama (1848-1885). Stephen, a young Anglican priest educated at the Native College in Grahamstown and trained at the Missionary College in Canterbury, England, is relegated to a mission near Fort Beaufort, where he confronts the prejudices of a colonial society and the discrimination within the Church. Torn between his loyalties to the amaNgqika people, for whom his brother fought, and the colonial cause he is expected to uphold, his journey to his mother’s rural home to inform her of his brother’s death proves decisive.
"This is a ghastly story; thank God the writing is the direct opposite. What great heart Marguerite Poland has to write this book!" Sindiwe Magona, author of To My Children's Children, Mother to Mother and Beauty's Gift
"Marguerite Poland as always is able to use words to paint reality. She has written an incredibly moving and compassionate yet piercing account which both demands apologies for the sins of the past yet is also redemptive." The Most Revd Dr Thabo Makgoba, Archbishop of Cape Town
Marguerite Poland is the author of the novels Train to Doringbult, Shades, Recessional for Grace and The Keeper. Her non-fiction work includes The Adundant Herds: a celebration of the Nguni cattle of the Zulu people and her memoir Taken Captive by Birds. She has been honoured with two Sir Percy Fitzpatrick Awards for children's literature, an Ingwazi Award, and a SALA Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2016 she was presented with the National Order of Ikhamanga (Silver) for her contribution to African languages.