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Critical Praise

"A story of civilization and savagery, brisk as a strong cup of tea."

O, The Oprah Magazine

"Freed blends Dickensian musings on class with a Brontë-like love story, set against the backdrop of South Africa after the Holocaust…It is deeply atmospheric, with a high-spirited narrator who frequently endears."

San Francisco Chronicle

"Freed’s great strength as a writer --- like Anne Tyler and Muriel Spark, to name but two --- is that she realizes “normal” is a word that barely, if ever, applies to human beings in real life, let alone in serious fiction. Normal is for stereotypes, and novelists who refuse to call central casting for their characters place themselves in a different league…Freed writes with great clarity and skill, and her occupancy of Cressida’s voice is exemplary. Short novel though this is, it contains multitudes --- among the themes explored are wartime guilt, the Holocaust, the position of South African Jews in a fundamentally British class system and the extent to which our social relations are determined by our self-appointed roles as servants or masters."

New York Times Book Review

"The broadest echoes of this wonderfully engaging novel come from Jane Austen and George Eliot. For this accomplishment any reader, male or female, wants to wave hat and veil and shout brava, brava!"

—Alan Cheuse, NPR