The Scent of Oranges

Overview

Linda returns to the family orange farm in South Africa to attend her father's funeral. She is drawn back to her past, to the striking beauty of her homeland and the people who still live and work there, but her country is vastly different. A democratic government has emerged from the shame of apartheid, yet it's a violent land where extreme poverty, AIDS and TB exist alongside western affluence and where beliefs in ancestral spirits and voodoo still linger below the surface.Her father's last wish was for Linda ...

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Overview

Linda returns to the family orange farm in South Africa to attend her father's funeral. She is drawn back to her past, to the striking beauty of her homeland and the people who still live and work there, but her country is vastly different. A democratic government has emerged from the shame of apartheid, yet it's a violent land where extreme poverty, AIDS and TB exist alongside western affluence and where beliefs in ancestral spirits and voodoo still linger below the surface.Her father's last wish was for Linda to investigate the murder of her youngest brother and the guilt of those accused. Ghosts of the past guide her search as she seeks the dangerous truths behind each new lead. As the lies unravel, her family will be dishonored, a shameful past will be revealed and yet there is great hope for reconciliation and the future.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Linda Van Wyk, who left South Africa 19 years earlier to build a new life in Australia, returns in 2005 to her homeland to attend her father's funeral at the outset of Zawatzky's so-so debut, a family saga with a whodunit at its heart. In a letter he wrote the year before his death, Pa charges his daughter to look into the murder of her youngest brother, Hannes, who was savagely stabbed 40 years earlier as a teen. Though three black men confessed to the crime, Pa's revelation that they did so under duress leads her to question their guilt. As Linda attempts to honor her father's last request, she must also come to terms with the changes in South Africa since the end of apartheid. Predictable revelations, such as another sibling's affair, provide possible motives for the murder, but the amateur sleuthing won't impress many mystery fans. Readers may be more interested in the author's view of the altered roles of whites in the country they once dominated. (Oct.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780970755872
  • Publisher: Garev Publishing International
  • Publication date: 10/8/2008
  • Pages: 375
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Joan Zawatzky was born and raised in South Africa before migrating to Australia. She now lives in Melbourne with her husband and works as a counseling psychologist. The Scent of Oranges is her first novel and a creative homecoming of her own.

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  • Posted February 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A book to read for Black History Month

    I reviewed this book for Black History months. The murder all boiled down to racism. It was a great read. I didn't guess the murderer. For a more detailed review visit The Bluestocking Guide: Review by a Partial, Prejudiced, and Ignorant Reader.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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