About the book
Growing up in Cape Town as the only child of orthodox Jews who escaped the Holocaust, Jen rebels against the religious beliefs and superstitions her parents impose on her. Her aim in life is simply to have fun. But she quickly finds she can escape neither her heritage nor the consequences of her choices. Jen’s life is overshadowed by the dybbuk – the malign force that she believes robs her of what she holds most dear. Her twin daughters, feisty and individual, are every bit as rebellious as she was. Burdened with the shifting sands of their home, the sisters are propelled inexorably towards the breakdown of all they have shared and deeply loved. Beautifully crafted and unpredictable, this captivating novel leaves long echoes, drawing readers into the undergrowth of family, the ambiguities of parental love and the ageless power of superstition, which binds even those who scorn it.
About the author
Rosemund J Handler lives in Cape Town. She climbs the mountains of her city every weekend and delights in exploring the vast open spaces of Southern Africa. Us and Them is her fourth novel for Penguin. Madlands, her first novel, was published in 2006, followed by Katy’s Kid in 2007. Tsamma Season, published in 2009, was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize (Africa region) in 2010.