Fees van die ongenooides (Feast of the Uninvited)
Author: PG Du Plessis
Publisher: Tafelberg Publishers
Review: Abigail Green
This award-winning novel about the Anglo Boer War (1899-1902) will pull you in deeper with each chapter, and it will shock you to the core.
Fees van die ongenooides (Feast of the Uninvited when translated) recently made its appearance as a miniseries on SABC2. It’s a perfect book title if you ask me, and is further enhanced by the image on the front cover.
The book invites the reader into the lives of the rich Van Wyk family before, during and after the war. Surrounding them are their subfarmers, the Minters; the loyal Soldaat; a cross-eyed British photographer and his fellow countryman, Captain Brooks.
Through their experiences, the reader gets an in-depth understanding of this devastating war where tragedy and betrayal were at the order of the day.
From the battlefields to the farms, the concentration camps and beyond, master storyteller, PG Du Plessis, takes the reader on a whirlwind of emotions as the story alternates between moments of compassion and those of utter cruelty – more of the latter than the former. There’s a small flicker of hope in the end, as those who survive get to rebuild what’s left of their lives.
In Fees van die ongenooides you’ll find characters to love (like Daantjie’s confidant, Soldaat) and to despise (like the boastful Daantjie van Wyk himself), but whatever the reader’s feelings toward them, they will definitely stay with you for a long time to come.