Today is my stop on the blog tour for The Chameleon by David Farrell. I am excited to be sharing an excerpt post with you all, so you can get a little taste for the book!
A massive thank you to @LoveBooksTours for allowing me to be a part of the tour.
The Chameleon is the tale of Rorke Wilde, who grows up in Rhodesia. Rorke’s needs to mimic his pet chameleon, if he is to survive the racial discourse in a country divided by apartheid during the 1970s.
Rorke’s father works in the British South Africa Police while his mother is a clerk in the tax office. His best friend and father figure is the family’s domestic worker, Themba Dube, an AmaNdebele of Zulu descent. Who guides Rorke through the turmoil of civil bias.
Themba introduces Rorke to his nephew Lucky Ndlovu, who lost his parents in the AIDS pandemic and who lives with his grandmother in a squatter camp (informal settlements) in Johannesburg.
The old man and boy share their experiences of a life of poverty post-independence where Rorke learns about the real Africa that he once saw through Panglossian glasses.
My name is Rorke Wilde. Most call me Rory. I have no other names and my parents offer no explanation why. My sister Cara Evelyn Wilde does, but, that I am told is because Mum and Dad couldn’t make up their minds.
We are of Irish descent, but I’m not sure what that means. The family is from Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland. That’s all I know, apart from history lessons and the briefest time when we lived there in 1972, but I digress. I will return to that later.
I was born in Gatooma. A pastoral town swathed in gold dust from nearby mines and the swirling lint of the cotton plantations. Small enough for everybody to know your business, but of a size they could turn a blind eye to if they so choose. It mirrored many of the settlements in the colony of Southern Rhodesia three years before the unilateral declaration of independence from the United Kingdom. My father became an officer in the British South Africa Police and my Welsh mother worked at the tax office in their dream of life in a far-off land.
This is my story of how history touched me. It’s not about clichéd heroes who triumph over wrong in a predictable plot, but of a reality of life at the end of colonialism in Southern Africa.
I don’t have many friends. I am a follower of nature, happier with animals and the sanctity of Mother Earth.
Why, you ask?
Animals are without deceit or greed. History books depict the author’s sway. Memoirs affords a perspective whilst historical fiction covers a commercial need. The truth lies elsewhere.
About The Author:
Dave Farrell is a father of six who live around the world. From New Zealand and England to Portugal and Japan.
Born in Africa, his life experiences on three continents echo through his writing, in his favourite genres of historical fiction, coming of age sagas and non-fiction.
With an eye for detail, you can find him in the corner of a room or sat at a seat in the mall reading people. He has a fascination for human behaviours borne from 50 years of leadership.
Dave advocates for the Autistic community running an online group with over 20,000 members.
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