THE GREYLING by Daphne Rooke


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Daphne Rooke's return to contemporary South Africa and a story of tragic love in a recognizable tradition evokes the arid, violent atmosphere of a naturally beautiful land gripped in the irons of police state mentality -- and actuality. The Greyling is Bokkie Sipho, a Coloured, beaten by her native (Black) relatives, ever separated from the white world to which she aspires for love of Maarten Delport, her employer's son. Again, the story of childhood friendship across the color line that burgeons into adult love that must be denied; again, the terrible consequences. Ilse Van Doorn discovers the lovers and knows of their child, but she does not break silence until Bokkie's body is found on a thorn bush and she must point the finger at Maarten to save her innocent Coloured overseer. Maarten is sentenced for a crime committed to cover up his infringement of the Immorality Act (cohabitation between races), but his mother, a good woman whose belief is Apartheid is bulwarked by her fundamentalist faith, understands at last that Maarten loved Bookie -- that his desperate act grew from his conviction that such love was the greatest sin, from which even an impending, passionless marriage would not release him. Maarten's fate -- death by hanging -- is underscored by the less harsh prison sentence of Ilse's husband for a similar crime against a white woman. The ineffable anguish caused when codes counter the human heart is at the core of a story told with almost too accomplished ease.

Pub Date: Feb. 23rd, 1962
Publisher: Morrow-Reynal