Briony West travels to 1930s Rhodesia following the death of her missionary father. This is a novel that will appeal to anyone interested in colonial Africa. As political unrest sweeps the country, Briony is forced to confront her attitudes towards race and religion.
The drums have not been silent. Peter pretends to have slept through them as there are things it's safer for a boy not to know, but Douglas is already warned of the death at the Chance farm by a runner sent to the Mission from the kopje before first light. Such a thing has never happened before, so it must be the authority of Mrs Shitofo, daughter of the Chifodya line, that lies behind it. Now Douglas is on his way, driving as fast along the forest track as his old Ford will let him .... In the harsh loneliness of his private thoughts he knows that these events must have something to do with Mathew and Briony and their relationship .... The drums announced that the death was over a woman. Not a black woman, that would hardly be reported by drum, it's so common. Therefore a white woman, therefore Briony.