Ingrid de Kok is arguably the most lucid and composed voice in contemporary South African English poetry. In this, her third volume, she brings her art to the great dramas of our time: the burden revealed in the tragic Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings and the ceaseless ravaging of the AIDS pandemic. Two other parts of the work provide wider perspectives: one is focused on the formative family bonds and the landscapes of childhood; the other brings her love of Italy to life. A work of great courage, the book grants us the possibility of sustaining the emotional freight of our place and time without breakdown. Anchored in personal life, its dark central vision is carefully framed and steadied by the resources of poetry in the hands of a fine and mature talent.