In this novel about being seen and what is not seen, the previously hidden is revealed when the unexpected happens. In the unusually wet winter of 2010, two teenage girls set off to a party on a farm across a river, and disappear without a trace.
In this novel about being seen and what is not seen, the previously hidden is revealed when the unexpected happens. In the unusually wet winter of 2010, two teenage girls set off to a party on a farm across a river, and disappear without a trace. Six years later, in the worst drought in living memory, a young woman vanishes while on her way home from work on a busy road. In the days following these events, those closest to the missing women are forced to question how well they really know them.
Tracey Hawthorne is the author of many non-fiction books, including an award-winning biography. Her short stories have been published in various journals and compilations, and have been shortlisted in international competitions. She works mostly as an editor for a range of South African publishers. Flipped is her first novel. She lives in a small town in the Western Cape.
Beautifully told against the backdrop of modern South Africa, with a cast of lovingly-drawn, relatable characters. Flipped is a deeply moving tale and, at the same time, an unputdownable page-turner. Tony Park, journalist, and best-selling author
I could not tear myself from these pages! A thrilling read with vivid imagery, which makes you question everything on a heart-racing hunt for the truth. Quraisha Dawood, author of Stirring the Pot
Such a clever balancing of two narratives, an unadorned, bleak (but not too bleak) treatment of that rare thing — a completely original plot (even though it looks at first as if it will follow a formula).Two things stood out for me: one, the relentless pacing. (The author makes it look effortless.) The story will grip you. It’s the first time in decades I’ve actually flipped (ha) to the back of the book to see how it ended because I could not BEAR the suspense. (I still went on to read every word, though.) The other thing I appreciated, as someone who lived on a farm as a child, and whose parents lived on a Free State smallholding for 36 years, is how utterly unsentimental the author is about small town and rural life. Set an hour away from Cape Town up the N7, Hawthorne captures the grinding poverty of the rural poor (rendered invisible in this country), the anxious knyping and scraping of those aspiring to middle-class life, the disdain and discrimination with which rural towns are treated by state/govt structures in the big city, the indifference to their needs and dismal resources. The urban-rural divide in this country is almost as festeringly unfair as our racial and class divides (which they closely follow). Helen Moffett, editor and award-winning author
Hawthorne’s darkly honest fiction trips us into believing one thing about this book before she turns the page into another – reeling all-too-human nightmares into intertwining stories about pain and love. Janet Smith, journalist, and author
If you want a break from hard news but still crave something close to headlines, this is a must-read. A kaleidoscope of intersecting lives and emotions, this book tilts you into a journey those grappling with the disappearances of loved ones are forced to navigate. From moms and teens to cops and crooks – and an array of individuals in between – these pages provide an intimate glimpse of the varying realities underpinning what happens when someone basically vanishes. The abrupt voids, the gnawing anxiety, the relentless cycles of questions. Hawthorne deftly delivers all this through the eyes of several characters, some of who feel familiar. She takes us into their contrasting worlds, their homes, and thoughts, and treats us to nuanced views. We dip into gritty organised crime, poorly resourced policing, small-town quirks, and tenuous and tight relationships. Hawthorne masterfully merges extensive situations. Flipped first gently then firmly grips you. It transports you away from pages into other spaces and lives.
While a work of fiction, given meticulous research and textured detail, this could easily be reality. A reality any one of us could suddenly find ourselves navigating. Caryn Dolley, journalist, and author