While the vastly outnumbered Boer commandos fight in the field, half a million British soldiers torch a flaming path across the South African veld. As they go, the British imprison thousands of displaced Boer families, including Aletta Venter’s, and cast them into newly devised ‘concentration camps’.
In a crowded tent with her mother and siblings, Aletta finds ways to cope with the confinement, privation and loss, but searches for the rarest of comforts – a bit of adolescent normalcy, perhaps even the spark of forbidden romance. Her weapon of choice in this personal battle: a young girl’s powerful sense of hope.
A deeply moving, intimate portrait of family, friendship and love, set against the backdrop of the Second Boer War at the turn of the twentieth century, The Undesirables (the British term for those who refused to surrender) is the heart-rending yet life-affirming new novel from the top ten bestselling author of Guernica, winner of the Richard & Judy Summer Read.