NO SURRENDER by James Watson


Age Range: 14 & up
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 A lean, staccato style propels this bitter tale of guerrilla warfare in Angola. Amid a tide of death and systematic destruction, young teacher Malenga Nakale is seized as a political prisoner by clandestine South African forces and handcuffed to Hamish Ross, a white army deserter, for a forced march. As they witness atrocities and survive narrow scrapes on their way to a military ``trial,'' the two fall in love. They finally escape into neutral Botswana, but Hamish is mortally wounded. Making no secret of his sympathies, Watson depicts a country battered but unbowed by UNITA, an insurgent army supplied by both South Africa and the US. Angolan civilians are seen as courageous and resilient, UNITA as a band of murderous cowards abetted by brutal South Africans and a cynical CIA agent. Though Peter Dickinson explores similar themes more profoundly in AK (1992), Watson views this particular conflict from an uncommon angle. Malenga will allow herself just a ``spoonful of joy'' at the news that Mandela is free; but her work, and the war, go on. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: April 15th, 1993
ISBN: 0-575-04893-X
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: Gollancz/Trafalgar
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 1993