Nineteen Seventy-Six

A Novel

by Robert Dewar
Released: 28th October, 2024
A love story is set against the dramatic backdrop of hugely significant political and social events in South Africa. 1976 was a watershed year in South Africa’s history, when the Soweto Uprising saw the outbreak of violence and racial unrest across the country, including Cape Town and the Cape Peninsula.

Full synopsis

On the beautiful Cape Peninsular, a great house built on the mountainside gazes out on a limitless southern ocean. By 1976 it had become a residential hotel, and Richard Channing, its proprietor, had personal problems more burdensome even than a perennial shortage of funds. Richard was disappointed with life: trapped in a loveless marriage, increasingly alienated from his son, and unable to see a way forward. But then his distant cousin, a lovely young English girl, arrives on what becomes a lengthy and extended visit, and everything begins to change for Richard.

At the same time, dramatic events are taking place in South Africa. Only two weeks earlier there occurs a police massacre of black students in Soweto, an event which triggers a wave of country-wide marches, demonstrations and strikes by members of the black and coloured communities. South Africa is engulfed by unrest and periodic violence - not all of which the residents of the great house on its lonely mountainside are able to avoid.

Richard, however, is in love. And the outcome of this love, and the consequences of his lovely young cousin’s visit, will take many years before they can be fully realised. For the young English girl’s visit will cause as dramatic a change in Richard’s and his family’s lives, as the Soweto Youth Uprising will bring about in South Africa’s social and political life.

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