Kings of the Water, By Mark Behr

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The Independent Culture

Mark Behr is best known for his debut The Smell of Apples, a novel that exposed South Africa's Afrikaner culture at its most unappealing.

Here, he meshes the personal and political with a novel about forgiveness and reconciliation. After 15 years abroad, Michiel Steyn returns to the family farmstead for his mother's funeral. Even after all this time, there are old hurts to face. Michiel is gay, a fact his father has never accepted, and there is still the matter of his brother's violent death. Behr's unsparing novel captures the internal struggles of a man in crisis, and a post-apartheid world still circled by security fences.