Former Mail & Guardian columnist and satirical author Tom Eaton has taken a masters thesis he wrote under the supervision of Nobel laureate J. M. Coetzee and turned it into a fine novel. Their island is attached by a wading to the mainland, a place ravaged by civil war and in a phase of misrule and chaos. Their slow, decaying civilisation has a different pace to that of the mainland, and there are still aspects of modern amenities. But the island is under the rule of the revolutionaries and white residents are but ghosts of the past. These ghosts don’t seem to mind being shadows; in fact, it is the reason they are there.