The Book of Gifts

Craig Higginson

Age 16 +
01 March 2020


What is the cost of giving a gift? What is the cost of receiving one?

At eleven years old, Julian Flint prefers to remain invisible, safe inside the architecture of adults provided by his mother, his uncle and his aunt. But when his mother, Emma, a celebrated sculptor, takes them all on a family holiday to a hotel by the sea, he meets the captivating and irreverent Clare and everything he thought he knew begins to shift – setting off a chain of events that will determine each of their fates.

From the award-winning author of The Dream House and The White Room comes Craig Higginson’s most gripping and nuanced novel to date. Moving from the lush beaches of uMhlanga Rocks to the stark midwinter wastes of Johannesburg and the rich and strange coral reefs of Mauritius, this masterfully plotted novel explores the fault-lines between loyalty and betrayal, innocence and accountability, blindness and perception, entrapment and flight. The Book of Gifts dives into the deepest and most hazardous reaches of human consciousness in order to catch the brightest fish.

'Poignant and profound, The Book of Gifts affirms Craig Higginson as one of the most significant voices in contemporary South African literature.’ – MICHAEL TITLESTAD, professor of English, University of the Witwatersrand ‘A beautifully crafted tale of memory and deception that explores the deep but conflicted love within families.’ – KATE SIDLEY, writer and editor