Sue Grant-Marshall, Business Day

The catchment readership for SA author Jenny Hobbs’s latest novel is a wide one, for it includes rugby players, religion and wars. The title comes from the chief protagonist’s name, John  Joseph Kitching, a war hero and former Springbok rugby player who has died at a rich old age, taking a shameful war secret with him. His friends, and an enemy, gather to laud him and damn the war that killed many… The story is rooted in Kwa-Zulu Natal, where Hobbs grew up.  It’s also set in European POW camps where Kitchen Boy and his comrades battle the cold, the lice and German brutality… An uncle of Hobbs was taken prisoner and she sets out to keep the memory of him and others like him alive for her nine grandchildren to whom she dedicates the book: “May they live in peace and never experience war.”