Ruth Browne, Cape Times

A flat, thirsty plain, a worn old road and the fungi of huddled shacks: this is Jenny Hobbs’s Crocodile Flats, a town gone septic in its failing years. Traditional chieftains and barricaded Voortrekker families eye each other over contested land and the two thriving institutions are the church and the bottle store… Through the shebeens, shops and taxi ranks wind a succession of characters united in a despair that is communal and personal… Filtered through so many lives, the story takes on a Dickensian depth…  a speaking, breathing rural town full of real people. The theme, a community shaken to rediscover its soul, is joyfully ubiquitous… Proclaiming itself “an affectionate satire”, Crocodile Flats accretes like an elaborate shell around the secret warmth of a vision…  Perhaps S Africa needs stories like these that train us to realise what real reconciliation could look like… Hobbs’s deft hand with SA preoccupations and dialects makes this a good and satisfying read.

The Miracle of Crocodile Flats, by Jenny Hobbs