A beautifully written, and important novel that follows a couple of generations of a white South African land-owning family through four funerals. The family dynamics are complex, and complicated further by a promise that lies unfulfilled, and threatens to tear them all apart. Set in the turbulent time at the end of apartheid, as the country begins to heal, we witness its effect on the family as their old ways crumble. Excellent! — Becky Doherty
WINNER OF THE 2021 BOOKER PRIZE
A NEW YORK TIMES EDITORS' CHOICE
A modern family saga written in gorgeous prose by three-time Booker Prize-shortlisted author Damon Galgut.
Haunted by an unmet promise, the Swart family loses touch after the death of their matriarch. Adrift, the lives of the three siblings move separately through the uncharted waters of South Africa; Anton, the golden boy who bitterly resents his life's unfulfilled potential; Astrid, whose beauty is her power; and the youngest, Amor, whose life is shaped by a nebulous feeling of guilt.
Reunited by four funerals over three decades, the dwindling family reflects the atmosphere of its country--one of resentment, renewal, and, ultimately, hope. The Promise is an epic drama that unfurls against the unrelenting march of national history, sure to please current fans and attract many new ones.
"Simply: you must read it."--Claire Messud, Harper's Magazine