Inspired by real events, from the Boer War to brutal camps for teenage boys now – You Will Be Safe Here, the debut novel by Damian Barr
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The stunning and shocking debut novel from the award-winning author of Maggie & Me.
You Will Be Safe Here by Damian Barr – this extraordinary debut set in South Africa reveals legacies of abuse and redemption exploring the extraordinary strength of the human spirit – from the Boer War in 1901 to brutal camps for teenage boys now.
South Africa, 1901, the height of the second Boer War. Sarah van der Watt and her son are taken from their farm by force to Bloemfontein Concentration Camp where, the English promise: they will be safe.
Johannesburg, 2010. Sixteen-year-old outsider Willem just wants to be left alone with his books and his dog. Worried he’s not turning out right, his ma and her boyfriend send him to New Dawn Safari Training Camp. Here they ‘make men out of boys’. Guaranteed.
You Will Be Safe Here is a deeply moving novel of connected parts. Inspired by real events, it uncovers a hidden colonial history and present-day darkness while exploring our capacity for cruelty and kindness.