It came to an end when the tractor wheel pulverized Klara’s father. When after her father’s death they had to leave Boplaas and move into a shack in the white township, that’s when it was all over. That was long before the birth of all eight of the children that the eight knots in Klara’s umbilical cord foretold. But the days Klara spent dreaming under the willow tree by the dam wall next to the lucerne field, or sat with a red cool drink and cookies by the stove and listened to Polla’s stories about where the bull kicked uncle Floppy Frank, those days were gone.
Boplaas shook them off.
Or so Klara thought. The truth was that Boplaas wasn’t done with them yet. Her sisters could get away – Leen with her disrespectfulness and Martie by marrying a half-German and fleeing the country – but not her. Someone had to look after Mother, who had lost her mind completely, and someone had to help get Henk, Mother’s freak child, through matric. What’s more, Klara had her own education to see to.
The business with Dries, the heir of Boplaas, had to come to naught before Klara could somehow distance herself from her past. But it was only when she eventually left that she discovered how inextricably intertwined she was with the farm and its people.
Klara is a story with an irresistible earthiness. Funny and heartbreaking. It is seldom that one takes so much delight in the strange twists that life has to offer.