Five women have been firm friends from childhood. When one of them, at the start of the tale, contracts AIDS and dies, it is like a bomb exploding in the lives of the others. Sindiwe Magona writes with and authority, humanity and command of language that brings home the dreadful situation and the dignity of these women as they choose life.
If a funeral is a busy and expensive affair, the spade-washing ceremony, a week after the funeral, is right there at its heels. Of course, there is no coffin, but everyone who has ever asked a few friends over for drinks or lunch knows how expensive such affairs can turn out to be. So, feeding the entire village always has been and always will be a financial hazard.