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Never, Never and Never Again

By K M Breakey

2018

Reviewed by Angie Mangino

Rating: 5 stars

 

“’Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another!’ – Nelson Mandela”

 

In chapter one it is March 26, 1976 in Cape Town, South Africa where readers meet Pieter Van Zyl “behind the wheel of his beloved Maserati. … His mood lightened with each passing mile, as Brackenfall and the burden of responsibility faded and Cape Town’s possibilities emerged.”

 

Pieter had completed his second tour in the military a year ago. He was an Afrikaner “duty bound to family, God, and country.” But for now, he was on his way to a fancy party hosted by Malcolm Montgomery, “that madcap Englishman.”

 

Chapter two introduces readers to Audrey Hudson, who just flew in from London to stay for six weeks with Emily Morrison, her friend in Cape Town. Even though Audrey is feeling the effects of jet lag, Emily insists on their attending “the social event of the season. … Everyone who’s anyone will be there. Malcolm Montgomery holds the gayest parties.”

 

It is at Malcolm’s party that Pieter and Audrey first meet.  Readers follow them from this meeting under Cape Town’s white rule, through the transformation, under black rule, to a new life for not only them, but all of South Africa.

 

The author shares the history of Apartheid and its aftermath though Pieter and Audrey, as well as with other people on both sides of the issues, in such a down-to-earth human experience of it that readers find themselves immersed in the story throughout. This experience stays with them long after finishing the book.

 

A Note to the Reader after the conclusion speaks of the author’s personal rational for writing this important book.  Since the book “blends fact and fiction to create texture and historical perspective…this can make it difficult to discern real events and people from imaginary.” He clarifies this in the note, and then includes a cast of his characters followed by public figures referenced to differentiate the two for the reader.  This seamless blending of fact and fiction speaks to the impact of the work.