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Uzodinma IwealaMost writing about South Africa's disturbing racial history focuses on the relatively modern phenomenon of apartheid and the gross injustices inflicted on the black majority by the descendants of Dutch and British settlers. But precious little contemporary literature addresses the precursor to apartheid, the Dutch and British race-based system that relied on the forced labor of a steady supply of black Africans, both local and imported from other colonial possessions.
Yvette Christianse's first novel, Unconfessed, is an important book precisely because it helps fill this literary void. Addressing the circumstances surrounding one of the most disturbing crimes of the colonial period, it recreates the tormented world of a real historical figure…Christianse is able to create an enveloping air of mystery in her slow revelations of the specific nature of Sila's crime and punishment. This mastery of suspenseful plotting shows in both the present action and the flashbacks, even if the language that stitches them together can prove a bit weak.
—The New York Times