LIONGOLD is the poignant memoir of a white girl growing up in South Africa during the height of the apartheid regime. Sometimes gently ironic, at other times funny, sad or shocking, this book describes life in a beautiful place, at an ugly time in its history.
Bea Alden grew up in Johannesburg, a tall city founded on a vast wealth of gold being mined day and night in deep underground shafts by an army of black laborers. Above and below ground, around the entire country, blacks did hard physical work on behalf of whites. Apartheid encouraged white families to employ black servants, and Bea's parents saw no bias in this practice. In that place and time, it seemed quite normal. Her father's mental illness was their secret shame, and the family lived in dread of it becoming known in their own white circle.
In language rich with mood and atmosphere, delicately unfolding the intricate relationships of gender, class, ethnicity and race, LIONGOLD tells the story of one family, their tragic problems, and an entire way of life doomed, necessarily, to give way to immense change.