The Innocence of Roast Chicken is a highly acclaimed post-apartheid novel with a strong sense of place and an atmosphere of light and beauty shot through with an acute awareness of impending tragedy.
This novel concerns an Afrikaans / English family in the Eastern Cape and their idyllic life on their grandparents’ farm, seen through the eyes of the little girl, and the subtle web of relationships which is shattered by a horrifying incident in the mid-sixties.
Scenes from the child’s early life are juxtaposed with Johannesburg in 1989 when the exiles are returning and our narrator, now married to a human rights lawyer, stands aside from the general euphoria which is gripping the nation. This intelligent woman’s despair, both with her marriage and with the national situation, resolutely returns to a brutal incident one Christmas day when the girl is thrust into an awareness of what lay beneath her blissful childhood.
Beautifully constructed, The Innocence of Roast Chicken is freighted with pain and longing.