For years, it had been what is called a "deteriorating situation." Now all over South Africa the cities are battlegrounds. The members of the Smales family - liberal whites - are rescued from the terror by their servant, July, who leads them to refuge in his village. What happens to the Smaleses and to July - the shifts in character and relationships - gives us an unforgettable look into the terrifying, tacit understandings and misunderstandings between blacks and whites.
On a superficial level, this is a wonderful adventure story. . . .On a deeper level. . .[the book] is much more than another survival story. . . .July's People . . .is so flawlessly written that every one of its events seems chillingly, ominously possible. The New York Times Books of the Century