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From the author of the Whitbread Award—winning The Last King of Scotland, comes a spellbinding tale of a town under siege in colonial Africa and a young woman who finds love and freedom in the midst of a devastating war.
The year is 1899, and the South African town of Ladysmith is surrounded by Boer forces. For four long months bread is thickened with laundry starch and soldier’s horses are killed for meat; daily bombings destroy homes and businesses, forcing the town’s inhabitants into tunnels and makeshift shelters; and soldiers and townspeople alike are hideously wounded by flying shrapnel. As the world she knows collapses around her, Bella Kiernan finds the courage to escape from convention, to rebel against the political forces that threaten her homeland and to pursue her life’s greatest romance. Ladysmith is a magnificent love story, a vivid portrait of war, and clear confirmation of Giles Foden’s standing as a formidably talented novelist.
“Captivating…. A highly accomplished historical novel.”–The Washington Post
“Skillful…. Precise [and] affirming.... Foden creates a complex mosaic.”–Dallas Morning News
“Ladysmith is a haunting, disturbing novel–not only about how things were in a long-forgotten war, but how that war made us what we are.”–The Independent