FIRST CHAPTER | A Sin of Omission by Marguerite Poland

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Marguerite Poland (Photo: Melissa Mitchell)
Marguerite Poland (Photo: Melissa Mitchell)
Melissa Mitchell

Marguerite Poland’s novel, A Sin of Omission (Penguin), has just won the 2021 Sunday Times award for fiction. Set in the late 1800s, it is about Stephen Mzamane, a young Anglican priest in the Eastern Cape,who must travel to his mother’s rural home to inform her of his elder brother’s death. Stephen has been sent to Britain for missionary training, but on his return to South Africa he is relegated to a dilapidated mission near Fort Beaufort, where he had to confront not only the prejudices of a colonial society but the discrimination within the Church itself. He finds his loyalties to the amaNgqika people and the colonial cause he, as Reverend Mzamane, is expected to uphold, conflicted. 

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