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Fiela's Child


God forgives many things, but God never forgives us the wrong we do to a child.

On the one side of the mountain, in the Long Kloof, there's Fiela Komoetie, devoted to her foundling - the child God entrusted to her one night when she found the three-year-old boy crying on her doorstep - a castaway lamb. On the other side of the mountain, in the Forest, there are the Van Rooyens. Many years ago, the three-year-old son of Elias van Rooyen, a woodcutter, and his wife Barta disappeared ...

The one child is Benjamin Komoetie, the other Lukas van Rooyen. Are they the same child? Was it possible for such a small child to walk that far - from the Forest to the Long Kloof? Nine years later, two census men, travelling through the Long Kloof and discovering the white child with the blue eyes among Coloured people, decided to take matters into their own hands.

And many years later, this is the question that Benjamin/Lukas is asking himself: Who am I? He had to know, otherwise the woman that he came to love would never belong to him. The answer was there, he knew. Somewhere deep inside himself, hidden in the past, but the answer remained evasive.

  • Fiela se kind (Fiela's Child) has been translated into English, German, French, Hebrew, Dutch, Slovenian and Swedish.
  • Fiela se kind (Fiela's Child) has been reworked into a successful stage play, a musical and an opera.
  • Fiela se kind (Fiela's Child) has been produced as a feature film by Katinka Heyns of Sonneblom Films.
  • In 1999 Fiela se kind (Fiela's Child) was selected as Book of the Century in a survey among 350 libraries across the country to determine the Top 100 Books. JRR Tolkien was first, Fiela se kind (Fiela's Child) second and Kringe in 'n bos (Circles in a Forest) third.
  • In 2006, Exclusive Books compiled a list of the 101 Books to Read Before You Die. Only three Afrikaans books were included, among them Kringe in 'n bos (Circles in a Forest) and Fiela se kind (Fiela's Child).
  • Click here for the Kindle Edition

Circles in a ForestCircles in a Forest
Saul Barnard is a woodcutter with a restless soul - he wants to keep strangers away from the Forest and stop the destruction of the Forest ... read more
Fiela's ChildFiela's Child
On the one side of the mountain, in the Long Kloof, there's Fiela Komoetie, devoted to her foundling - the child God entrusted to her one night when she found the three-year-old boy crying on her doorstep - a castaway lamb ... read more
The Mulberry ForestThe Mulberry Forest
Silkworm farmers from Italy were lured to Gouna in the Knysna Forest to establish a silk industry. The only problem was that mulberry trees refused to grow in sticky mud ... read more
It tells the story of the intimate relationship of an initiated "forest woman" with the heart of the forest, and how it becomes an obstacle in her experience of the man she loves ... read more

In the media

"This novel brilliantly confirms that few people can match her skill when it comes to engaging storytelling at its best."
André P. Brink

"The communities on the edge of Africa a hundred years ago, the forest world where the elephants walk their ancient paths and the wild waters of the Indian Ocean come alive to her touch, making this novel everything a novel can be: convincing, thought-provoking, upsetting, unforgettable and timeless."
Grace Ingoldby, New Statesman

"Fiela's Child is a parade that broadens and humanizes our understanding of the conflicts still affecting South Africa today."
Francis Levy, New York Times Book Review

"A powerful creation of time and place with dark threads of destiny and oppression and its roots in the almost Biblical soil of a storyteller's art."
Christopher Wordsworth, The Guardian

"The characters in the novel live and breathe; and the landscape is so brightly painted that the trees, birds, elephants, and rivers of old South Africa are characters themselves. A book not to miss."
Kirkus Reviews

"Holds the reader like a first-rate thriller . this haunting novel is a triumph."

Dalene Matthee, Suid-Afrikaanse skrywer van 13 boeke, is veral bekend vir haar vier Bosboeke" wat in die Knysna-bos afspeel. Haar boeke is in 14 tale vertaal.
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