Dalene Matthee

Dreamforest

Synopsis
Dreamforest (Toorbos) is forest novel. It tells the story between the intimate relationship of an initiated “forest woman” and the heart of the forest, and how it becomes an obstacle in her experience of the man she loves.

Karoliena Kapp is an only child of an unsympathetic mother who has had three men. Her father has been killed by a streak of lightning while she was still young, causing her to accept the forest as her primordial mother. Karoliena is beautiful. Soon, she was spotted by a man, Johannes, child of a woodcutter, who freed himself from the stranglehold of poverty in the forest. Before she even turns twenty, Karoliena is married to Johannes. Now she has to take on the role of spouse in the village after being coached to take her place in the hierarchy.

The world of the forest and the world of the village are juxtaposed with each other – each representing a different order of existence. The forest makes a mystical experience possible – this is the kind of ecstasy Karoliena is looking for – while life in the village is dedicated to the self-directed search for money. She is in love with Johannes who is far older than she is and is almost spellbound by the prospects he offers her. However, Karoliena uses the very first opportunity to run away from Johannes – straight back to the forest. Because the very first day after their wedding ceremony she knew something was terribly wrong. She made the wrong choice: she fled from the forest. She exchanged her precious freedom for a cage. Now she’s scared. So, she returns to the forest while the Cape sisken keeps on calling: “who are you, who are you”.

  • Circles in a Forest
  • Fiela’s Child
  • The Mulberry Forest
  • Dreamforest