From the book cover:
"'In our country every day love and dignity and decency are destroyed. Well, once this is recognized you are on the side of life. Yes, you are harassed and restricted, but that in itself means you have power.'
In 1965 journalist Anne Dawson returns to South Africa. Cushioned from political reality by the security of Johannesburg's white middle-class social round, she is at first untouched by the sense of mounting tension amongst old friends assisting what remains of the black resistance. This is the period of the Ninety Day law and such activity can be dangerous. When, at the urging of a radical defense lawyer, Matthew Marais, Anne travels to the Eastern Cape to report on political trials in isolated villages, she questions: 'to witness and not to protest--was this not to participate?' Compelled by love for Matthew and by a growing sense of commitment, she discovers the meaning of repression and of betrayal in political and human terms. 'A live nerve of a novel,' says Nadine Gordimer."