Africa – South Africa – Up Against the Night – Justin Cartwright

up aginst night

Why a booktrail?

Frank is descended from the Boer Leader Piet Retief and his story is the story of South Africa

Story in a nutshell

Frank McAllister is a wealthy man living in Notting Hall, London. He has several homes and one in Cape Town, South Africa, a place where both his heart and heritage lie. Frank is a direct descendant from the Boer Leader Piet Retief, who was murdered by the Zulu King Dingane along with all his followers in 1838.

He is preparing to head back there with his lover Nellie and await the return of his daughter Lucinda from rehab where she has been battling an addition. Then there’s Jaco, Frank’s cousin who once a You Tube star has now found Scientology.

PLACE

Zululand - KwaZulu-Natal Ulundi is the seat of the area Johannesburg The aunt’s farm Welgelegen is 100 mils South West of here Cape Town - Table Mountain The story of Piet Retief comes to light Robben island An iconic place in South Africa’s history
Zululand – KwaZulu-Natal
Ulundi is the seat of the area
Johannesburg
The aunt’s farm Welgelegen is 100 mils South West of here
Cape Town – Table Mountain
The story of Piet Retief comes to light
Robben island
An iconic place in South Africa’s history

Frank McCallisterr is fixated on his Boer ancestor, Piet Retief, who was brutally murdered by the Zulu hordes in 1838(The shocking prologue) Frank’s South Africa is in his blood as Piet in in the blood of South Africans ever since. Since the leader’s murder, he has been the iconic symbol for Afrikaners ever since.

“Retief – cloaked in righteousness, blessed by God, free of his creditors – had undoubtedly arrived in this land in order to take it

As Frank and his family of sorts travel to the Cape, they go and explore and see the land that Frank loves and feels part of. The food for one is rich and homely, the safaris take him back to his roots and the landscape of his memories. Nellie’s son even joins in and starts to learn to surf. This is a family,a disparate family, a group of people adapting to and learning from their environment.

When in this beautiful and stunning landscape, South Africa and its iconic history are characters in the background. The Afrikaaner culture and people are those which cousin Jaco thinks are the victims of the new black establishment. Things are changing in South Africa he sees and not always for the better.

This novel has a personal touch to it – the author himself was born and raised in South Africa, before he moved to Britain as a student. 

Justin is in reality a descendant of Retief himself so this is very much a homage to his country and its people.

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