The winds of change are blowing through Africa and, like clouds, lives are being fragmented, altered or blotted out in an instant. This powerful novel is set predominantly in the mid to late '70s when the Rhodesian bush war was at its height before the Lancaster House agreement and the end of white rule. Get on to the story of Andy Mason, first as a schoolboy discovering the beauty of Africa on a trip to Northern Rhodesia in the '60s, then as a sergeant in the Rhodesian SAS in 1974 and 1979. This is powerful and authentic story-telling. The author was there and it shows in the detail, the sights, the sounds, the smells and the fear. Sent out on a routine recce, the four-man team is ambushed, reinforcements are sent in and a full-on fire fight evolves. Step back in time and we discover what led the young South African schoolboy to blood and death in the African bush. The author shows he is equally at home in the concrete jungle of Johannesburg amid high-flying fraud and corruption. A farm murder in Rhodesia and a plea for help from a former girlfriend sends Andy to the battlefield and the winds of war. Torn by anger and grief he enrols in the SAS. One of 12 recruits out of 500 to complete the gruelling course, and finds himself among the close-knit camaraderie of the forces. But the writing is on the wall. The superbly trained Rhodesian army never lost a battle, but they are fighting a war they cannot win. The contrast is here - the stark reality of war, mutilation and death and the lavish lifestyle of the Salisbury elite; elegant dancing and dining with a rifle always at the ready; luxurious living on the prosperous farms that have been in families for generations and armed convoys anywhere outside the city. Andy falls for laughing, beautiful Alyson, spoilt and protected darling of her wealthy parents, but even there the war takes its toll. This is yet another gripping piece of story-telling and the author succeeds remarkably well in getting into the skin of this anguished young girl. Naturally politics of the period is entrenched, but the author lets his characters give their viewpoints - angry, paternalistic, stubborn or entitled. This is a book that will enthrall and enlighten. It's a passionately told story that will simply take your breath away.
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|Size: ||1.8 MB|
|Publisher: ||St. Michael's Press|
|Date published: || 2015|
|ISBN: ||9780996472616 (DRM-EPUB)|
|Read Aloud: ||not allowed|