Meira Cook’s The House on Sugarbush tells the story of a well-to-do white South African family and their longtime domestic servant. Cook expertly renders the complex world that is post-apartheid South Africa in the mid '90s and fills it with a cast of intricately drawn characters from all walks of life.
The audiobook is performed by Derek Perkins whose tender tone deftly portrays the deep empathy and rich detailing present in the author’s prose. Only a voice actor with Perkins range would be able to effortlessly move so easily through the diverse array of settings and characters that populate Cook’s sprawling novel about race, nation, and family.
The House on Sugarbush Road, set in post-apartheid Johannesburg shortly after the 1994 election of Nelson Mandela, is the story of the intertwining lives of a once prominent liberal Afrikaner family and Beauty Mapule, their domestic servant of more than 30 years. Cook's intimately interconnected and finely drawn characters are white, black, rich, poor, beautiful, ugly, old, and young; they are also hustlers, do-gooders, petty criminals, and sensualists, heading towards dramatic explosions both inevitable and unexpected.