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Shades by Marguerite Poland

On the night that Walter Brownley had arrived to take up his position at a remote mission, set among the hills of the Eastern Cape, he had written in his journal, ‘January 27th 1898: At St Matthias there is an odd sense of predestination. It is strange how strongly I feel it …what it is I do not know but I shall leave before it takes me in …’ And yet – despite himself – he had not left: he’d waited for the catastrophic game to end, as he knew it must …Marguerite Poland’s spellbinging novel of love and dispossession is a rich and haunting work in which individual destinies are played out against the backdrop of the country’s wider conflicts at the turn of the century, particularly the turbulence and discord wrought by the inevitable clash of different cultures.