When Ingi Friedlander travels to Yearsonend in the rugged interior of South Africa to purchase a statue, its eccentric sculptor, Jonty Jack, does not want to sell - he says it was not his creation, but simply appeared miraculously. Ingi decides to stay and try to win Jonty's trust, but soon realises that the townspeople suspect she has come to seek a different treasure - the legendary wagon of gold brought in by defeated Boer soldiers. Gradually she prises open the secrets of the past, secrets of greed, racism and vaulting ambition, whose key lies with the Italian POW Mario Salviati - deaf, dumb and now blind. Watched over by a very earthy angel and long dead humans, Ingi forces a resolution with the past and faces up to her own future.
After a career as an advocate and then in advertising, Etienne Van Heerden taught at Rhodes University, South Africa, the University of Amsterdam and was Writer in Residence at Utrecht University. He is currently Professor of Literature at the University of Cape Town, and is the author of a collection of short stories and four previous novels, including the multi-prize-winning Ancestral Voices.