205pp., paperback, Cape Town, 2013
Winner of the University of Johannesburg Debut Prize, the Eugène Marais Prize and the Jan Rabie-Rapport Prize.
Also available in English as False River.
A novel about a bother and sister sent to boarding schools in Natal when their parents' leftist politics makes life difficult for them in the Free State farming community where they live. The novel is based on true events.
"Bravery is not a literary attribute. But this bildungsroman is an eloquent testimony to courage, grace, elegance even. And beauty. Rooted in the soil, steeped in the complex ways of survival of her people. And the dying of loved ones. The novel paints in textured language a land of fidelity and falseness, of posturing and purity and pride - where treacherous rivers run as deep as the power of memory. Dominique Botha worthily takes her place among the living and the dead writing the stories that make us." Breyten Bteytenbach
Dominique Botha grew up on a farm in the Free State. She now lives in Johannesburg. Valsrivier is her debut novel.