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The final chapters are more direct, driven by the romance of Makhaya and Paulina which is never oversimplified and given time to develop. The scenes on the cattle fields are the one horrific element to the story and the imagery is disturbing and powerful, yet in essence this a book full of positive energy, work and action, an impulse towards change. The scene when the villages gather to defend Paulina from the Chief’s accusations, whatever they may be, epitifies this feeling. Head leaves us with many loose threads, a feeling that life isn’t easy or safe, but that it is also hopeful. Still not my favourite (the impact of The Cardinals makes it, for me, the best piece of work by Bessie Head) but another great piece of writing from a master of the craft. 7 (LOVE)

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