In AMANDA EYRE WARD’s cinematic third novel, FORGIVE ME, the Austin writer beautifully spans the physical and social divide between Cape Town, in the waning days of apartheid, and Cape Cod, where journalist Nadine Morgan wrestles with the all-consuming ambition that finds her both single and childless but desperately wanting to return as a reporter to South Africa. The tale jumps through time and distance: Flash back to Nadine on assignment in Cape Town, where her lover, Maxim, is killed while photographing a gun battle and an American teacher, Jason Irving, is murdered by a youth mob that includes fifteen-year-old Evelina Malefane. Flash forward to Nadine fleeing Nantucket (and her best chance at settling down) in the hopes of interviewing Jason’s parents at Evelina’s amnesty hearing before South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Ward avoids glib answers, preferring to question the differences between perpetrators and victims—and ask who deserves to be forgiven.
From the June 2007 Issue Subscribe