An Act of Defiance
How can you imagine the future when your story traps you in the past?
Harare, 2000. Gabrielle is a newly-qualified lawyer fighting for justice for a young girl. Ben is an urbane and charismatic junior diplomat, attached to Harare with the American embassy. With high-level pressure on Gabrielle to drop her case, and Robert Mugabe’s youth wing terrorising his political opponents as he tightens his grip on power, they begin a tentative love affair. But when they fall victim to a shocking attack, their lives splinter across continents and their stories diverge, forcing Gabrielle on a painful journey towards self-realisation.
Irene Sabatini, winner of the 2010 Orange Award for New Writers, navigates Zimbabwe’s unfolding political crises, showing how the dehumanising effects of state-sponsored violence can shape and remake a life.
'Irene Sabatini, author of The Boy Next Door, superbly recreates the terror and horrifying repercussions of Mugabe's later years of rule in this expansive literary thriller. It's a tough read, but ultimately an uplifting and moving one.' The Times
'A searing, delightful gem of a book. In prose that delights and informs, Sabatini's characters soar, gifting us with all that is tender and brutal and beautiful and honest.' Nuvoyo Rosa Tshuma, author of House of Stone
'Raw, moving and utterly compelling. Sabatini has written an incisive and unflinching novel.' Tendai Huchu, author of The Hairdresser of Harare