Thursday, September 01, 2011


Not since I read Jock of the Bushveld, the true story set in the 1880s by South African author James Percy Fitzpatrick, have I re-visited this part of the world, so was delighted recently to be given a copy of Candi Miller's Kalahari Passage.

In her new novel, Miller tells us of a  people hunted and harried to near-extinction.  Her heroine is Koba, a San bushman who has lived most of her life as the adopted daughter of a white farming family. When news of her love affair with their son, Mannie, is discovered, Koba is arrested and sent for repatriation to the lands of the Kalahari Desert.

Her life thereafter in the hands of a vindictive Boer who murdered her parents and is intent on killing her too, means that the girl must escape and flee across the barren South West African sandveld.   Koba survives by remembering her San hunter wiles to find her nomadic tribe. But will she stay alive long enough to succeed after years of living among whites?

Miller’s powerful and evocative tale of displacement, love and longing has many wonderful moments, and as always, I've added much to my knowledge of African life. I do recommend this  searching  book.

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