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Synopsis

SHORTLISTED FOR COMMONWEALTH WRITERS PRIZE AFRICA. In the mid 1950s, lonely middle-aged spinster, Phyllis, has spent much of her adult life caring for her ailing mother. On her mother's death, she takes a position as a matron at an exclusive Cape Town boarding school. She begins to keep a journal of her daily encounters and experiences - something she has not done since the age of sixteen, before falling pregnant by her cousin and being forced to give the child up for adoption. As she tries to settle into her new life, Phyllis remains haunted by her secret guilt and shame. Then a new boy is enrolled into the school and Phyllis becomes convinced he is her grandson. Michael, small and vulnerable, quickly becomes a victim of bullying and Phyllis finds a renewed purpose in seeing to his comfort and protection. But the purpose she has found for herself will have consequences more devastating than ever she could have imagined.

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