Today is the 40th anniversary of the Soweto Uprising – 16 June 1976. That infamous point in history, when black school children demonstrated for the right to be taught in English, forms an integral part of my literary thriller The Peace Garden, about a young English girl who befriends a South African political exile. If you would like a ‘novel’ take on how that day 40 years ago impacted one family for three generations, this is the story for you. Click here to get the book The Peace Garden

Hector Pieterson being carried by Mbuyisa Makhubo. His sister, Antoinette Sithole, runs beside them.

A cracker of a crime thriller

A lovely review of The Peace Garden from the Bookaholic ‘A cracker of a crime thriller’

‘This is a book on two levels. At its most basic it is about a young girl who sets out to investigate why plants are going missing in an English suburb. This seemingly simple premise leads to an exciting thriller which takes the reader on a roller coaster ride. It plays out in both England and South Africa. This is during the apartheid era and the depiction of life for black South Africans during this time is superb. The characters are well rounded and come across as real. The reader can almost palpably feel the anger emanating from Thabo, a young Black teenager. Natalie, the main character is also real and the reader sees her grow and develop throughout the book.

The settings also play a large part in the book. They are beautifully drawn and the reader can imagine them perfectly. Veitch Smith contrasts them and then skillfully pulls them together.

Fiona Veitch Smith is an excellent writer and I look forward to reading more from her. This is a book I can highly recommend.’

Click on the image of the book below or in the right-hand menu to buy it.

fiona-veitch-smith-the-peace-garden

I’ve been reading my own reviews again. Sorry, bad habit. But this one’s a good’n:

“There’s much to enjoy in Fiona Veitch Smith’s debut adult novel, The Peace Garden, where the hopes and fears of modern South Africa disrupt the
neatly-ordered flowerbeds of suburban Newcastle. Natalie Porter, twelve years old and insatiably curious, starts to uncover the stories that have shaped the adults around her, and progresses from catching a plant thief to beginning to understand some of the complexities of life and love in a post-Apartheid society. The novel ratchets up to thriller pace and with a nice twist on the traditional ‘follow-that-car’scene as Natalie, older but not much wiser, realises she may be the only person who can thwart a potential murderer.The Peace Garden is a cleverly-plotted novel with nice comic touches, and the author’s personal background produces both a convincing setting for the Newcastle characters, and some telling insights into South African life.”

RS Downie is the New York Times bestselling author of the Ruso series of Roman mysteries.