The Promise: A Novel (Booker Prize Winner) (Paperback)

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The Promise: A Novel (Booker Prize Winner) By Damon Galgut Cover Image
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Staff Reviews

At the first of four funerals that punctuate this 30-year saga, ten-year old Amor Swart reminds her family of her mother’s dying promise – to give the family’s longtime housekeeper, Salome, the deed to her little house on the family’s ranch.. The Swart ranch is outside Pretoria, South Africa, and, during the waning days of apartheid, Amor and her older siblings face the challenges of apartheid’s legacy in very different ways. At each funeral, Amor reminds her siblings of the promise to Salome, a promise unmet for three decades, and a promise that reflects in a larger sense the trajectory of South Africa’s history until the present day. Galgut writes in powerful and beautiful prose about human frailties, tragedies, and failed opportunities, but there is a lightness in his touch and an ending that left me perfectly satisfied. Loved it.

— Alice



On her deathbed, Rachel Swart makes a promise to Salome, the family's Black maid. This promise will divide the family--especially her children: Anton, the golden boy; Astrid, whose beauty is her power; and the youngest, Amor, whose life is shaped by feelings of guilt.

Reunited by four funerals over thirty years, the dwindling Swart family remains haunted by the unmet promise, just as their country is haunted by its own failures. The Promise is an epic South African drama that unfurls against the unrelenting march of history, sure to leave its readers transformed.

"Simply: you must read it."--Claire Messud, Harper's Magazine

★ "This tour-de-force unleashes a searing portrait of a damaged family and a troubled country in need of healing."--Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

Product Details
ISBN: 9781609457440
ISBN-10: 1609457447
Publisher: Europa Editions
Publication Date: March 15th, 2022
Pages: 272
Language: English