It was not difficult to get on the wrong side of the
authorities in 1976 South Africa if you are black; in fact it is very
easy. Isaac Mutherthe, a young medical student, witnessed the murder of
his friend by authorities, now his life is in jeopardy and he must flee into
neighboring Botswana leaving his family behind. Isaac meets two special
beings in Botswana; white dog and Alice Mendelssohn. Without papers or
prospects his options are few. Isaac is fortunate to find work as a
gardener. Alice sees that Isaac is a bright young man; she intuits that
he is in some kind of trouble; and forges a friendship with her young
gardener. When he goes missing Alice refuses to believe that Isaac
abandoned his job, she searches for him learning truths about herself and
Africa that will change her life. Luminous writing, a poignant story, and
moments of grace make this a sure bet to be one of my favorites in 2013.
Botswana, 1976. Isaac Muthethe thinks he is dead. Smuggled across the border from South Africa in a hearse, he awakens covered in dust, staring at blue sky and the face of White Dog. Far from dead, he is, for the first time, in a country without apartheid. A medical student in South Africa, he was forced to flee after witnessing a friend murdered by white members of the South African Defense Force.Walking along the road into Gaborone, Botswana's capital, White Dog following close behind, a chance encounter with an old school acquaintance changes the course of Isaac's life. Amen, a member of the ANC, the South African resistance movement, invites Isaac to stay with his family. Petrified of deportation and determined to find work, he swears he will stay just for a few days. He sets out to find work and is hired by a young American woman, Alice Mendelssohn, who is living in Botswana with her husband, Lawrence.A year later, her marriage an empty shell, Alice sets off on a work-related trip to the vast bush that she loves-alternately austere and lush, with light that blinds-leaving her home in the care of her new gardener, Isaac. It is on this trip that she meets Ian, an expert on the Kung San and a rebellious, untamable man twenty years her senior, with whom she imagines a very different future.Returning home, Alice finds Isaac missing and White Dog waiting loyally at the end of the drive, dehydrated and malnourished. When she goes in search of Isaac, what she finds out will change her life.
About the Author
Eleanor Morse is the author of "Chopin's Garden" and "An Unexpected Forest," which won the Independent Publisher's Gold Medalist Award for Best Regional Fiction in the Northeast U.S. and was also selected as the winner of Best Published Fiction by the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance at the 2008 Maine Literary Awards.
Carla Mercer-Meyer, an "AudioFile" Earphones Award-winning audiobook narrator, has a strong musical theater background, and her performances include "Into the Woods," "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown," and many other theatrical productions.
"Morse's unflinching portrayals of extremes of loyalty and cruelty make for an especially memorable novel." ---Publishers Weekly