It's 1989, and in the dying years of the Apartheid regime, eleven-year-old Jack Viljee considers life to be simple. He has firm views on race (complex), politics (straightforward), poofdas (inoffensive), God (dangerous) and sex (bewildering). The son of an Afrikaans father and an English mother, wedged between a strident older and a favoured younger sister, Jack allies himself with the family's beloved maid, Susie.
But the Viljee household has been upset by the arrival of Percy, Susie's fifteen-year-old son. Percy - young, bored and full of rage - makes everything awkward and embarassing for Jack. After one particularly humiliating event, Jack betrays Susie. The world, it turns out, is not so simple.
Jacques Strauss was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa. His first book, The Dubious Salvation of Jack V, won the Commonwealth Book Prize, Africa. He lives in London with his partner and works as a freelance writer.