Why has troubled Eva van Rensburg — living in self-imposed exile in America — stayed away from her South African home for the last decade? What unspeakable accident claimed her mother’s life? And what heinous act did her Afrikaner father commit on their jackal-plagued farm, Skinner’s Drift? All is slowly revealed — first-time novelist Lisa Fugard has pacing down cold — as Eva returns to visit her dying dad and finds a stack of her mother’s diaries. The setup is a little phony, but Fugard’s desolate central narrative of apartheid politics and family tragedy could not be more engrossing.