The Promise: A Novel (Booker Prize Winner) (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

I just finished and loved this remarkable Booker Prize winning novel from South African author Dalmon Galgut.  On her deathbed, Rachel Swart makes her husband promise that he will give their family's Black maid, Salome, the home on their family farm in which she has resided in for decades.  When this promise is repeatedly broken, the effects on the surviving three children are impossible to deny.  Told through constantly flowing perspectives, (I'm still blown away by how skillfully Galgut does this) and beautiful, poetic language, this is the reckoning of one family and the country they call home.

— Samantha



On her deathbed, Rachel Swart makes a promise to Salome, the family's Black maid. This promise will divide the family--especially her children: Anton, the golden boy; Astrid, whose beauty is her power; and the youngest, Amor, whose life is shaped by feelings of guilt.

Reunited by four funerals over thirty years, the dwindling Swart family remains haunted by the unmet promise, just as their country is haunted by its own failures. The Promise is an epic South African drama that unfurls against the unrelenting march of history, sure to leave its readers transformed.

"Simply: you must read it."--Claire Messud, Harper's Magazine

★ "This tour-de-force unleashes a searing portrait of a damaged family and a troubled country in need of healing."--Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

Product Details
ISBN: 9781609457440
ISBN-10: 1609457447
Publisher: Europa Editions
Publication Date: March 15th, 2022
Pages: 272
Language: English