Author(s): Zirk Van Den Berg
Gideon Lancaster, a New Zealand soldier fighting for the British, infiltrates a Boer commando. He soon finds himself entangled in a confusion of loyalties as he becomes better acquainted with the men and, worse, falls in love with Esther Calitz, a Boer woman of considerable mettle who demands his loyalty over every other allegiance. Between Esther and Commandant Jacob Eksteen, his taciturn rival in love and a man of clear black-and-white convictions, Lancaster navigates his way only with great difficulty. So powerful are the conflicting demands of fidelity and love that he seizes a quixotic opportunity when a large British battalion is mobilised in what is to be the final triumph of the imperial forces. Half of One Thing is a ripping good read, a love story and a war adventure subtly written with a confident hand.
Zirk van den Berg made his literary debut with a volume of Afrikaans short stories in 1989, followed by a short historical novel. After moving to New Zealand in 1998, he switched to writing in English. His crime novel, Nobody Dies, was published to considerable acclaim in New Zealand and saw an Afrikaans edition released as 'n Ander mens in South Africa in 2013. Half of One Thing is his first English novel to appear in his native South Africa. Van den Berg is a language practitioner in Auckland.