Why is Ann responsible for George's death?

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Zesfontein, February 1928

 

Although Ann has adjusted to her life with the Hudson family at Zesfontein, she continues to grow apart from Vernon:

 

 ‘…she could not help but resent the time he spent with his parents and his work took him away from the farm for weeks on end.  Reprocessing the old gold mines had proved to be hugely successful and profitable and Vernon and his partner travelled all over the Transvaal, re-opening old mines and harvesting the precious dust….Ann knew that she should be thankful for their newfound wealth.  Instead, she pined for the man she had married; his hopes and aspirations had been so high and his work with the blacks so inspired.  Now, he seemed only interested in making money and showering gifts on his parents, brothers and sister.  It was as though he continually needed to impress them by buying their love and attention...’

 

 In Chapter 8, the Hudson women are planning a party for Lettie’s 70th birthday.  In her attempt to contribute, Ann is involved in an unpleasant confrontation with her mother-in-law with disastrous results…

 

 Vernon’s father, George, is dying.  In Chapter 9, Ann has become closer to her sister-in-law, Grace, and she takes her turn to nurse the old man:

 

 ‘His breathing was still irregular and he was very flushed.  Every so often, his chest seemed to rattle in a very alarming way.  She soaked a flannel in cold water and laid it across his forehead.  “Would you like me to read to you, Grandpa?  Shall I read you the story of how Beth and John arrived in Bathurst?  You always like that bit about Wilson and his stock of gin, don’t you?”  The old man seemed to relax a little and he sighed gently.  Did she see a tiny smile?  Just for the moment, Ann was sure she had…’.

 

 When, eventually, the old man slips away, why does Vernon blame Ann for his father’s death?  Naturally, Ann is devastated…

Picture caption:  Lettie

Latest comments

19.03 | 18:49

Lookin' forward to that, Gillie.

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19.03 | 12:22

It's all but written! However, I might wait until we have been back to Kenya (probably in January next year) before publishing.

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19.03 | 12:20

Thanks Mike. I'm going to send you a file on all the stuff we found out about Hougham Park, our ancestor's house in Coega Bay, Port Elizabeth.t

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19.03 | 11:34

I loved this book. It brought home the real atmosphere of Africa and the story was really interesting.
When is the sequel coming out?

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