On a remote farm in South Africa, the protagonist of J. M. Coetzee's fierce and passionate novel watches the life from which she has been excluded. Ignored by her callous father, scorned and feared by his servants, she is a bitterly intelligent woman whose outward meekness disguises a desperate resolve not to become "one of the forgotten ones of history." When her father takes an African mistress, that resolve precipitates an act of vengeance that suggests a chemical reaction between the colonizer and the colonized -- and between European yearnings and the vastness and solitude of Africa.
A story told in prose as feverishly rich as William Faulkner's, In the Heart of the Country is a work of irresistable power. With vast assurance and an unerring eye, J. M. Coetzee has turned the family romance into a mirror of the colonial experience.