In a world where there are many more books than time to read them, one sometimes finds a book which is just “perfect” for the reader. It fits the particular reader’s interests perfectly. Tales From the Cross is one of those books for me.
Tales From the Cross follows the adventures of a South African attorney, Harry Kamel, whose interest in aeroplanes leads him to volunteer to fly an air-ambulance in South Africa, and sometimes into our northern neighbours (and further afield) where a medical team goes about their medical rescue duties.
The book is set in late apartheid and early democratic South Africa and as far afield as Rwanda during their terrible genocide in 1994 while South Africans were self-absorbed with the first democratic election. While the book is one continuous fictionalised narrative, there are eight cases highlighted and these, incredible as it may seem at times, ring reasonably true to the more than thirty years I have spent as a medical volunteer with St John Ambulance Brigade.
Part of the charm of the book is the pains the author, David Marcus, takes to paint the canvas on which the events of each story unfold. The facts are often little known and one feels privileged to be privvy to them.
All round this is probably one of the best reads of my year (and I have read some very charming books this year). I zipped through it in a very short space of time and I would like to read it again in a year or two, spending more time enjoying the details about the various places and people I find in the pages. As I seldom reread books this is a high compliment from me.
- Title: Tales from the Cross
- Author: David Marcus
- Publisher: Self published
- Year: 2013
- ISBN: 978-149-43980-19
I have no idea which bookstores keep this, but you can find out more from the publicist, Caroline Konstant, at 084 8172 405. It is highly recommended.