Excerpt from A Dark Redemption by Stav Sherez, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

A Dark Redemption

by Stav Sherez

A Dark Redemption by Stav Sherez X
A Dark Redemption by Stav Sherez
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Paperback:
    Jun 2013, 448 pages

  • Rate this book

Book Reviewed by:
Judy Krueger

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

Ben and David exchanged a glance that reflected years of growing up together, sharing hidden jokes, conspiring against parents – and agreed, but Ben kept the guide book safely in his bag just in case.


They backtracked and took the highway north, watching the land change. The fields and crops and empty plains gave way to more rugged terrain; mountains loomed out of the sky and disappeared; the road deteriorated until it was only a narrow lane.

The heat became worse, not just sun striking the roof of the car, but a deeper denser heat, a humidity they'd never experienced before, a rottenness in the air that crept into your bones and brain, making your eyes water and the breath die in your throat. Sweet potato and maize fields stretched out either side of them, dry and willowy in the early-evening heat haze. Termite mounds stood ten feet tall, skyscrapers among the cornstalks and grasses, like totem poles from another race, the tenements of a forgotten people.

The town of Masindi appeared out of nowhere. One minute they were driving the dirt road, yellow fields bordering them on both sides, and the next they were on a dusty corrugated street with white single-storey buildings, women carrying baskets on their heads, kids and more kids, the whole African movie-trailer cliché right before their eyes.

They stopped for beer and food at a tiny stall still bearing the name of the Asian proprietor who'd established it before being expelled by Idi Amin in '30. The old man, the new owner, served themwarmNiles, the slogan 'The true reward of progress' making David chuckle as he swigged the sweet beer.

They watched cars go by leaving trails of dust in the air. Faroff volcanoes shimmered on the horizon like things unsubstantial and contingent. Children came and held their palms out, smiled, laughed and danced on the spot as Ben handed them money.

They sat in the rear of the cafe washing the dust and heat from their bodies, glad for the stillness after eight hours of bad road. Murchison wasn't far, another few hours' drive north; they'd stay in Masindi for the night, it was decided, and head there tomorrow.

'I still can't believe it.' David was sitting under a palm tree, peeling the label off a bottle of Nile. 'Being here, I mean.'

'Remember how much we talked about it?' Ben leant forward, spilling ash over the table. It had been their only topic of discussion these last few months, cramming for exams, finishing their dissertations, the horizon of the holiday the one bright thing to look forward to, the question of where to go burning in their minds.

David finished off his beer. 'The three of us here, together.' He paused so they could all savour this. A shadow briefly crossed his face. He stared at the thin tapering road. 'Who knows where we'll be this time next year.'

'I think Jack's got a pretty good idea,' Ben smiled, his teeth shining white in the sun.

Jack looked off into the distance, the volcanoes smoky and out of focus like cheap back-projections in a pre-war movie. 'I wish I did,' he replied, thinking back to the day, three weeks ago, when he'd broken the news. At first, he'd wanted to keep it secret, alternately proud and a little ashamed of his good luck, the way you always are with close friends. But they'd got drunk one evening, another in a long line of housemates' birthday parties, and he told them about the deal: three albums, a decent amount of money, a cool London-based record label.

'I wish it felt real. I wish it felt like something I could celebrate, but I keep thinking I'll come back and find a letter apologising for the mistake they've made.' Jack focused on the table, the empty green bottles like soldiers standing silent sentry.

Excerpted from A Dark Redemption by Stav Sherez. Copyright © 2013 by Stav Sherez. Excerpted by permission of Europa Editions. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  Stav Sherez

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: A Land of Permanent Goodbyes
    A Land of Permanent Goodbyes
    by Atia Abawi

    When you're a refugee, everyone has lost, at least for the time being... And the journey ...

  • Book Jacket: Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
    Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
    by Mario Giordano
    Munich matron and self-described worldly sophisticate, Isolde Oberreiter, has decided to retire to a...
  • Book Jacket: Eat the Apple
    Eat the Apple
    by Matt Young
    Truth is stranger than fiction. Matt Young's memoir tackles the space in between truth and ...
  • Book Jacket: Educated
    by Tara Westover
    Tara Westover had the kind of upbringing most of us can only imagine. She was the youngest of seven ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Sometimes I Lie
    by Alice Feeney

    This brilliant psychological thriller asks: Is something a lie if you believe it's the truth?
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
    by Mario Giordano

    A charming, bighearted novel starring Auntie Poldi, Sicily's newest amateur sleuth.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Balcony

The Balcony
by Jane Delury

A century-spanning novel-in-stories of a French village brimming with compassion, natural beauty, and unmistakable humanity.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

I Y L D W D, Y'll G U W Fleas

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.