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Barr, Damian : You will be Safe Here

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“There is pain on these pages and poetry too. I left this book bruised yet somehow better for it.” – Tayari Jones.

“Brutal, haunting, redemptive and...beautiful.” – Jojo Moyes.


This extraordinary debut set in South Africa reveals legacies of abuse and redemption exploring the extraordinary strength of the human spirit - from the Boer War in 1901 to brutal camps for teenage boys now. There is always darkness but there is always light in it if we just look.

South Africa, 1901 - the height of the second Boer War. Sarah van der Watt and her six-year-old son Fred are forced from their home on Mulberry Farm by British troops. As the polite invaders welcome them to Bloemfontein Concentration Camp they promise Sarah and Fred that they will be safe there.

2010. Sixteen-year-old Willem is an outsider. Hoping he will become the man she wants him to be, his Ma and her boyfriend send Willem away to the New Dawn Safari Training Camp where they are proud to 'make men out of boys'. They promise Willem he will be safe there.