Third time Booker shortlisted South African writer Damon Galgut’s The promise is structured in 4 parts, each concerning the funeral of a member of a white South African family outside Pretoria. The title the promise is the dying wish of the mother of the family of giving a house to a black family caretaker.
What’s most intriguing about this novel is it’s narration. Truly the style of the book is unlike I’ve encountered recently. The narrative shifts constantly through various perspectives giving a deep look at every member of this family.
Galgut’s prose filled with dark humour and sometimes quite surprises makes the reader gripped.
But the most extraordinary thing about this novel is it’s depiction of the four decades in the history of South Africa. What’s amazing about this is that it’s not doing at its central pin, like lecturing us about the political timeline of that period but it shows the history through the prism of family dynamics of a one South African white family.
The promise – Damon Galgut Published by Chatto & Windus, Penguin random house Uk