In his ravishing review of “The Afrikaner” on Amazon.com John Harte compares the novel to “Gone with the Wind”. Could the book really become a new blockbuster? We are working on it! Read the whole review here:
“Is this novel another ‘Gone with the Wind?’ I think so. The author’s Scarlett O’Hara-type heroine, Zoe, despairs when her lover is killed by black gangs in downtown Johannesburg after it has reverted to the jungle in post-Nelson Mandela South Africa. Arianna Dagnino’s sensitive identification and portrayal of all the racial groups in this troubled multicultural land is written with the same passion as Margaret Mitchell devoted to her panoramic story of the pioneering days in America.
Unfortunately, the equally hardy and courageous pioneers in South Africa have had a bad press as a consequence of UN sanctions and the tabloid and TV distortions and exaggerations that destroyed its economy and created large-scale unemployment of about 48 percent of the population. The Nationalist Government were victims of circumstances they were struggling mindlessly to control – the in-migration of millions of rural blacks into the cities for food, employment, medical care and shelter that was unavailable. No one from outside lifted a finger to help them prevent the mass migrants turning into marauding gangs that would destroy the cities.
The tormented author immersed herself in the history of the Afrikaans people of the Dutch Reform Church, from victimization, first by Spanish Catholics in the Netherlands, their flight by ship to the Cape, their victimization by the English who had got there before them, their trek to the interior in ox-wagons, and their battles with the black tribes from the north. After settlement in the “Promised Land,” came the two destructive Boer Wars for survival against the British. Now they see the country they love destroyed by weak, corrupt, or non-existent leadership.
I lived in Johannesburg and Kwa-Zulu Natal for ten years, and was drawn back again for another two, before despairing for the country like Zoe. It is not difficult to feel compassion for all the racial groups struggling to survive there against gang warfare, and author Arianna displays the same love for the magnetic San people of the Kalahari, today’s black Africans, and the white Afrikaner people. If I were a dedicated film producer like the late David O. Selznick, I would obtain the Film and TV Rights of The Afrikaner before anyone else snaps them up, and turn it into another ‘Gone with the Wind.'”
– John Harte, a valid buyer.