Agaat

February 23, 2021
Agaat

"I was immediately mesmerized . . . as brilliant as itis haunting." —Toni MorrisonIn 1940s apartheid South Africa, Milla de Wet discovers a childabandoned in the fields of her family farm. Ignoring the warningsof friends and family, Milla brings the girl, Agaat, into her home.But the kindness is fleeting, as Milla makes Agaat her maidservantand, later, a nanny for her son. At turns cruel and tender, thisrelationship between a wealthy white woman and her Blackmaidservant is constantly fraught and shaped by a rigid socialorder.Decades later, Milla is confined to her bed with ALS, and isquickly losing her ability to communicate. Her family has fallenapart, her country is on the brink of change, and all she has leftare her memories—and a reckoning with the only person who remainsby her side: Agaat. In complex and devastating ways, the powershifts between the two women, mirroring the historic upheavalshappening around them and revealing a shared lifetime of hopes,sacrifices, and control.Hailed as an international masterpiece, Marlene van Niekerk'sAgaat is a haunting and deeply layered saga of resilience, loyalty,betrayal, and how the passage of time cannot heal all wounds.