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Book Cover for: The Girl in the Summerhouse, William Paterson

The Girl in the Summerhouse

William Paterson

1929, and Donald Kirkwood's Zululand cotton farm is abandoned. The family moves to Chelmsford, a clifftop house on the northern outskirts of Durban. Afrikaner right-wingers plot pro-Nazi support as Hitler continues his rise to power during the 1930s. In Durban, society is more concerned with horse racing and doing good works among marginalised Zulus and Indians. When war breaks out in Europe and north-east Africa, Donald Kirkwood's son Ewan enlists and is exposed to the full horrors of war. He joins the Springbok Legion in Addis Ababa, a fraternity for all servicemen to help those in need. Later, his romance across the colour-bar with a beautiful Indian girl leads to disaster. The novel is rich with characters - Keswick Jardine, the harbourmaster, who opens the French doors of his house with a system of levers linked to a ship's wheel in the sitting room; Jeeves, the Jardines' Indian butler, who chuckles away in his rooms at night, reading books by P G Wodehouse; and the pretty half-caste bar girl Rosa in Lourenco Marques who helps Malcolm Muggeridge disable the Italian consul, described by spy Kim Philby as "the most dangerous man in Africa".

This novel completes the Kirkwood family trilogy set in a troubled South Africa and 'bookended' by two world wars.

Book Details

  • Publisher: Fish Eagle Books
  • Publish Date: Apr 27th, 2023
  • Pages: 288
  • Language: English
  • Dimensions: 7.81in - 5.06in - 0.78in - 0.63lb
  • EAN: 9781399942867
  • Categories: Historical - 20th Century - World War II & Holocaust

About the Author

Paterson, William: - William Paterson, a journalist and author, was born of Scottish-Cornish parentage in Durban and grew up with his sister in an old colonial clifftop house, surrounded by virgin bush, with views of the Umgeni River and the Indian Ocean. He was educated at Michaelhouse, then the Durban School of Art in Natal and the University of Westminster, London. Upon his return to South Africa he spent most of his workinglife in the media. He is now settled with his Irish wife Patricia in Co Wexford, Ireland, where he continues to write.

Praise for this book

"A hugely enjoyable blending of fact and storytelling with a fresh perspective on the forgotten WWII Intelligence War in Southern Africa. A recommended read." Dr Stephen Dorril, Author of MI6: Inside the Covert World of Her Majesty's Secret Intelligence Service.


"The book is written with a coarse honesty that anyone who has attempted to stare down injustice will find relatable

and touching." Albie Sachs