The winds of change are blowing through Africa, fanning the flames of political tension and racial inequality.
Andrew Mason is an ambitious young South African banking executive, scholar Cum Laude and the son of an affluent family. His swift rise up the corporate ladder seems all but inevitable.
Until - as though in conspiracy with destiny – two unrelated events combine within days of each other, and his well balanced life is suddenly and brutally transformed.
Andy is falsely accused of a breach of confidence and unethical conduct within his working environment and is simultaneously called upon by a distraught girl friend needing to reach her parents in her homeland of war torn Rhodesia.
Mason agrees to help, but is wholly unprepared for the tragedy that follows and he is left bewildered and traumatized in a country ripped apart by the affects of political intransigence and civil war.
His corporate ambitions in disarray and his emotions in a state of confusion, Andrew enrols in the Rhodesian military where he evolves to become a hardened and ruthless combatant with the elite SAS.
By force of circumstance, through the horrors and tragedies of war, Andy finds himself living two separate lives; one amid the acrid smell of burnt cordite, danger, brutality, sudden death and survival alongside his comrades in “The Squadron” and the other in the overpoweringly intoxicating arms of Alyson Carstens, the spoilt and protected daughter of wealthy parents.
Returning wounded from an ill-fated mission, Andy learns that Alyson is pregnant and they decide to marry. However, on their wedding night, a devastating incident has a dramatic impact on their union, which ultimately exposes an underlying secret liaison of deceit and betrayal with far reaching and catastrophic consequences.
The tragedy of the times is symbolized in Andy’s prosperity, his courage in the face of adversity and the progressive downward spiral as everything he fought for and believes in gradually crumbles.
As one heartbreak follows another, Andrew's emotional strength is sapped and his decline into alcoholism and despair leaves him vulnerable and reckless.
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About the Author
Ian Mackenzie was born in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa and grew up in Johannesburg. He was educated at Queen’s College in Queenstown and Parktown Boys High in Johannesburg and studied business administration and accounting on leaving school.
He moved to Rhodesia in the early 1970s and served with the Rhodesian military from 1975 to 1980, during the hostilities of the bush war. He returned to South Africa in 1983 and ran his own business as an administrative consultant. Now in semi-retirement, Mackenzie is forging a career for himself as an author
He has two grown up sons in their 30s and lives with his wife in Johannesburg South Africa.
Clouds In The Wind is his first novel
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A story of action, intrigue, love and betrayal, told by a gifted author. A really good read.
Andy and Alec were best friends in school. In later years, they reconnect, as both are fighting for the Rhodesian army. After a series of events, their friendship is tested beyond limits. When I started reading this, I thought it was going to just be about the upheaval in Africa in the 60’s. I was pleasantly surprised once reading it that it revolved around one man and how the war affected him personally. The author did a great job of relaying Andy’s feelings, and also the vivid descriptions of the beauty of the land. I came away from this book with a much better understanding of the African revolt of that era. Before reading this, I knew nothing. Now I know why it happened, and a small portion of how it happened. The author actually made it interesting.
“Clouds in the Wind” is a gripping political novel about one man’s life in Africa, from when he is a schoolboy until he is a man. The novel opens in 1960, with a scene of great discontent—the British Prime Minister is refusing to allow colonial rule to end, despite the many nationalist liberation movements. Three years later, young Andrew Mason is attending a school for white South African boys that has a reputation for churning out business leaders, and indeed he will go on to be successful in finance—at least until a betrayal sees him fired and a tragedy leaves the first woman he’s ever loved dead, prompting him to join the military to kill those he has come to hate. “Clouds in the Wind” is filled with scenes of great action and violence, and the war scenes in which Andy finds himself are harrowing and suspenseful. However, the book is also filled with the beauty of Africa, which is described in vivid and lyrical detail; the peace and majesty of nature against the evil men do to each other fighting makes an effective contrast. Though the book is filled with political explorations of the ramifications of colonialism, it is Andy’s story at its heart—how he grows from a boy enchanted with the beauty of a continent to one who is filled with anger and faces more tragedy than one man should have to. Each of his close relationships—even that with his friend, Alec, and especially that with his wife—turns out to be complicated and disappointing, and that’s where I struggled with the book. I kept hoping something good would happen to Andy, and that he would find happiness—because after spending so much time with him and finding him to be a good and kind man, you feel like he deserves it. However, the book ultimately left me with a sad feeling, given the constant sadness Andy faces. Despite that, I enjoyed “Clouds in the Wind;” it held my attention all the way through; it’s beautifully written and exposed me to history that I hadn’t known about before. I would recommend it to readers who enjoy politically-themed contemporary fiction set in other countries.
A heartfelt novel that will simply take your breath away! Take a journey along side main character, Andrew Mason, a financial executive who, because of unforeseen circumstances deviates from his path of success and tranquility into an all out Rhodesian bush war. It is here that he realizes the dangers of what it truly means to be a soldier. He becomes decorated and then meets his sole mate, Alyson Carstens who is the daughter of upper class wealthy parents. No spoilers but there are more to this story that meets the eye and the twists will keep you on the edge of your seat. All I can say is the ending is what took my breath away and left me with a longing desire to want more. I was saddened to see it come to an end. Words that describe this book are, Descriptive, Emotional, Romantic, Adventurous, Action, and Suspenseful in an original unique way that was well written. 5 Stars and hope a sequel is in the making.