-- Books

-- Books --

 

Bone Meal for Roses

 

bonemeal_cover_600Poppy was six years old when she was rescued from her abusive mother and taken to her grandparents’ farm to recover.

There, in the Breede Valley, where arid South African scrub exists alongside vineyards and fruit orchards, Poppy succumbs to the magic of their garden. Slowly, her memories fade and her wounds begin to heal.

But as Poppy grows up into a strange, fierce and beautiful young woman, her childhood memories start to surface. And then a love affair with a married carpenter across the valley explodes her world.

This is a lush, lyrical novel about a young girl’s struggle to come to terms with her past. It’s a coming-of-age tale with an edge, and a love story with a serving of strange…

Available now.

 

Bone Meal for Roses was longlisted for The Sunday Times Literary Award, Barry Ronge Fiction Prize, 2017.

 

 

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Black Dog Summer

Yesterday, Sally was living in an idyllic South African farmstead with her teenage daughter Gigi. Now Sally is dead, murdered, and Gigi is alone in the world.

But Sally cannot move on. She lingers unseen in her daughter’s shadow. When Gigi moves in with her aunt’s family, Sally comes too. When Gigi’s trauma stirs up long-buried secrets, Sally watches helplessly as the family begins to unravel.

Then Gigi’s young cousin develops an obsession with African magic, and events take a darker turn. Now Sally must find a way to stop her daughter from making a mistake that will destroy the lives of all who are left behind.

Published in 2014

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-- About

-- About --

Authorpic1

"I grew up in Johannesburg in a house filled with books."

Miranda Sherry was seven when she began writing stories. A few decades, numerous strange jobs (including puppeteer, bartender and musician), and many manuscripts later, Black Dog Summer was published by Head of Zeus in 2014.

Miranda’s second novel, Bone Meal for Roses (also Head of Zeus), was released in September 2016.

Her first work, Days Like Glass, was shortlisted for the EU Literary Award in South Africa in 2005.

Miranda currently lives in Johannesburg with her sort-of-husband and two weird cats, and is working on her next book.



-- Blog

-- Blog --

MEET THE TREES – THE TIPUANA

“The first thing I notice is that the Tipuana tree is gone. I remember the vast reach of its strong curvy limbs, the perfect thumb-print rows of leaves, whirling helicopter seed pods, and the exuberant yellow, crumpled-tissue-paper flowers that used to litter the ground beneath it.”

Tipuana tipu

Now considered an invasive plant in South Africa, this import from Brazil and Bolivia was once commonly grown in suburban gardens. Its large size and thirsty root system mean that it often competes with indigenous species, especially along river banks, where it can cause considerable lessening in water-flow.

The canopies of these trees are the favoured home of ‘spitting bugs’ (more romantically called ‘rain-tree nymphs) which consume large amounts of tree sap, and subsequently secrete the excess fluid which they froth up with their butts (this just keep getting better, doesn’t it?) and then use to cover themselves to prevent water loss and keep their temperatures stable. Quite a bit of this ‘spittle’ drips down on unsuspecting shade-seekers.

I WROTE MUCH OF BLACK DOG SUMMER IN THE EARLY HOURS OF THE MORNING

I wrote sitting up in bed with my laptop balanced on my duvet. Morning birdsong, sleepy breathing and purring cats were the soundtrack, very at odds with the story I was trying to tell.

Tragically, the whilst writing the last chapters of BLACK DOG SUMMER, a friend’s father was murdered in a botched robbery. It gave painfully fresh insight into the fallout experienced by a family after such a violent loss.

IF I’D KNOWN WHAT I WAS EMBARKING ON BEFORE BEGINNING THIS BOOK, I’D HAVE BEEN TOO TERRIFIED TO WRITE IT…

What did I know of how it feels to die? How could I speak of watching those you’ve left behind battle a shadowed entity spawned by your violent murder, hungry for chaos? How could I even begin to touch on Africa’s ancient and intricate mysticism?

I couldn’t. I still can’t. But now I know what it means to have tried, to have journeyed further into imagining than I thought possible and emerge, altered, on the other side. It has been an extraordinary adventure, and perhaps I am a little less cowardly now that it is done.

WHEN I WAS LITTLE, THERE WAS A MASSACRE ON A RURAL FARM THAT RESULTED IN THE DEATH OF SOMEONE I KNEW…

It was the first time my life was touched by violence and it affected me deeply.

BLACK DOG SUMMER was born from the fears and questions that had been plaguing me since. The fact that farm murders still happen in Southern Africa today made my need to tell the story both more pressing, and more daunting.

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