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Heaven Forbid


This is an unforgettable, highly acclaimed novel of African childhood by a prize winning author. In the jacaranda leafed garden of his Johannesburg home, six year old Martin Donally is king of a small and perfect world. It is 1948 and life is full of buoyant childish rhymes and his colourful, Irish extended family. There's exuberant Grandpa who sings and races horses; chain smoking Auntie Fee, who always sides with the ogres in fairy tales; and above all Georgie, the family's servant and Martin's confidant. But this cosy world of fixed certainties is about to end as Martin's tale turns to one of political and personal tragedy. He can't possibly foresee the resounding defeat of the liberal government that will usher in a new era of bigotry and intolerance, nor appreciate the significance of the fact Dr Voerwoerd, architect of apartheid, is a neighbour. And what is he to make of dour, racist, Gordon his mother's husband-to-be, a man who seems determined to shatter the care-free world of the Donally's for good? "Heaven Forbid" is a wise, moving tale of innocence blighted and paradise lost; an unforgettable novel of childhood, family and the impact on a private world of a crucial moment in history. 'A clever, economical novel ...a potent rendering of childhood' - "Penelope Lively". 'A vivid, tender evocation of time and place, fresh and unsugared by nostalgia' - "Observer". 'Immensely alive and involving' - "Sunday Times". Hide synopsis

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