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Finuala Dowling Reviews False River by Dominique Botha

False RiverVerdict: carrot

Dominique Botha’s debut, False River, is a beautifully told South African story. Seldom has a prose style so captured my imagination and admiration. This is one of those books that you read with a pencil in hand because you want to place a mark in the margin next to phrases that haunt you.

But what is False River? The book’s cover tells us that it is a novel, yet this lyrical account of family, place and time is very much a memoir. Dominique Botha the author appears as Dominique Botha the character; it is Paul Botha – the writer’s brother, ons mooiste en ons slimste – whose life and death provide the narrative arc.

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