Sisters Nyree and Cia live on a remote farm in 1970s' Rhodesia. Their father is away fighting ‘terrorists’ so they are left in the company of their racist grandfather, their mother and black farm workers and servants. But this delightful account of growing up in a carefree idyll darkens with the arrival of sinister cousin Ronin. An intriguing mixture of history and adventure, alive with the sounds, sights and superstitions of Southern Africa.
It was raining, I remember, the day we came to the Vumba, the lush rain of Africa, winged ant hatchlings swarming from the steaming earth.
Now, years later, the rain billows with my ghosts of shadow and light and sadness.
It takes me back to my forest, to the clutches of golden orb spiderlings supping from their yolk sacs on a nest of silk, to the strictured breathing of the vines as they strangle one another, to the preying mantis that delicately, greedily, feasts upon her lover as they are gripped in coitus on dripping leaves.