I am excited to announce that my latest novel, a historical saga about the Van der Bijls who settled in South Africa in 1660. Gerhard Van der Bijl, an employee of the Dutch East India Company sets off on an adventure in a strange, inhospitable land at the southernmost tip of Africa. He fathers a child by a slave woman, a deed that will have far reaching repercussions, many generations later.
I spent hours researching the novel, and while the accounts of the individual family members is fictional, the historical details are accurate. The information I found has been fascinating and burst the bubble that so many white South Africans have about their ancestry. The majority of those with Dutch or European surnames were the offspring of three or four slaves, Angela van Bengale, Sophia van Palliacat and Susanna van Mombasa. While I could not find any direct evidence that Van der Bijl actually had such a love child, the likelihood is very high that somewhere along the line he or one of his offspring had such a liaison. Susanna van Mombasa was a slave from Kenya who gave birth to a child, the father was “unknown”, never revealed. I used this little teaser as a hook in the story.
This has been a project that gave me endless hours of writing pleasure, and I hope you will enjoy reading it!