God's Own Country -- New Novel Tells Early History of South Africa

Bloomington, Indiana, UNITED STATES

MEDICINE LAKE, Minn., June 2, 2004 (PRIMEZONE) -- America is not the only destination for immigrants seeking fortunes in the infancy of its growth. South Africa was a prime target for diamond and gold seekers at the end of the 19th century, but it was also an area of heated conflict. The new novel, God's Own Country (now available through AuthorHouse), by Helga Kaye, chronicles one immigrant's struggle to make a fortune for himself and his family in the farmlands of South Africa.

This historical novel, based on early days in South African history, opens as diamond fever, and later gold, brings prospectors scrambling from across the globe, but it isn't an easy land to live in. Amid this turbulent historical background, young Hungarian immigrant Peter Gruber leaves the security of his family home to satisfy his lust for adventure and need for fortune. Kaye follows him through both of his marriages, one to Maria Johanna "Mimi" Marais and the other to Betty; the births of his children, Fanny, Rolf and Charles; and the deep friendships he constructs along the way while setting up his farm.

God's Own Country follows the history as panic blazes across the territory like a wild brush fire. The outbreak of the Anglo Boer War sends people running, and after the British capture Johannesburg and Pretoria, Peter sends family to England for safety. As the war rages, Kaye details the slew of personal tragedies that find Peter and the rest of the settlers caught in the snares of war. He endures the burning of his farm, the death of his friend and an injury. As the war ends, he is reunited with his family, the only thing he has left.

With historical accuracy and deft descriptions of the beautiful and vibrant land, God's Own Country is an emotional novel of family, strength and hope.

Kaye was born in Johannesburg, South Africa and was educated there and at the Sorbonne in Paris. She married her husband Josse in 1932 and moved to London so he could study medicine. After World War II broke out, they were forced to return to South Africa. Throughout her life, Kaye traveled extensively, mastered a number of languages and was one of the first librarians at the University of Witwatersrand. She published a number of articles and two other books, The Tycoon and the President: The Life and Times of Alois Hugo Nellmapius 1847-1893 and A Very Human Being: Josse Kaye, From Country Pharmacy to Professional Chair. Kaye died in 1998.

AuthorHouse is the world leader in publishing and print-on-demand services. Founded in 1997, AuthorHouse has helped more than 18,500 people worldwide become published authors. For more information, visit www.authorhouse.com.


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