From Bryce Courtenay comes a new novel about Africa. The time is 1939. White South Africa is a deeply divided nation with many of the Afrikaner people frantically opposed to the English.
The world is also on the brink of war and South Africa elects to fight for the Allied cause against Germany. Six year-old Tom Fitzsaxby finds himself in The Boys Farm, an orphanage in a remote town in the high mountains, where the Afrikaners side fiercely with Hitler's Germany.
Tom's English name proves sufficient for him to be ostracised, marking him as an outsider. And so begin some of life's tougher lessons for the small lonely boy. Like the whitethorn, one of Africa's most enduring plants, Tom learns how to survive in the harsh climate of racial hatred. Then a terrible event sends him on a journey to ensure that justice is done. On the way, his most unexpected discovery is love.
“(Courtenay) does bear comparison to ... the Dickens of his veiled autobiography, David Copperfield. Here he is again: the young, vulnerable boy cast in a story with pernicious villains and terrible trials, but he goes on, this boy, with the help of amiable and sometimes lurid friends, to save himself. But while David Copperfield wants to save himself, Tom is driven to save the world ...”
“Courtenay is an undeniably talented storyteller. In Tom Fitzsaxby he creates an unlikely yet plausible and appealing central character, a sympathetic, compassionate underdog whose struggles are at times genuinely moving ... Courtenay knows what his readers want and how to deliver.”
“Tom Fitzsaxby could stand proudly alongside Tom Brown or Tom Sawyer any day.”
Sydney Morning Herald