What leads two lives, seemingly disparate in every possible way, to converge in space and time? Set in modern South Africa, an elderly acclaimed author searches for a daughter lost amongst the wreckage of her mother’s failings and a nation’s shadowed history. With this muscular debut novel, Flanery announces himself, quite simply, as a future literary sensation. In her garden, ensconced in the lush vegetation of the Western Cape, Clare Wald, world-renowned author, mother, critic, takes up her pen and confronts her life. Sam Leroux has returned to South Africa to embark upon a project that will establish his reputation - he is to write Clare’s biography. But how honest is she prepared to be? Was she complicit in crimes lurking in South Africa’s past; is she an accomplice or a victim? Are her crimes against her family real or imagined? As Sam and Clare turn over the events of her life, she begins to seek reconciliation, absolution. But in the stories she weaves and the truth just below the surface of her shimmering prose, lie Sam’s own ghosts. Absolution shines light on contemporary South Africa and the long dark shadow of Apartheid, the elusive nature of truth and self-perception and the mysterious alchemy of the creative process. It is a debut of extraordinary strength and power. It is suitable for readers of J M Coetzee, Margaret Atwood, Alan Hollinghurst, Zadie Smith, Damon Galgut, and Anne Enright.
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