I’m really happy to announce the release of “Opsaal“! This novelette, published via Moon Books Publishing, is a frightening account of the experiences of a mother and her young children living in fear on a disturbingly haunted South African farm during the Great Depression.
Since the story is based on a family legend, this book is based on a true story! (The main characters were my mother’s parents, and the children were my mother and her siblings). For that reason, this story has always held a special place in my heart, and I’ve always wanted to get around to retelling it properly – and so now I have! Here it is for your enjoyment – Opsaal!
What’s The Story About?
It was 1939, and a close-knit South African family found themselves in need of a new home. Peter van der Westhuizen, a husband and father of seven who spent most of his days on the road as a truck driver, did his best to provide for them. Then he found Opsaal. It’s an Afrikaans word that means ‘saddle up’, but it was also a place: a farm, to be exact – a lonesome speck of nothing on the edge of a dirt track nowhere near a main road in the South African wilderness, somewhere in the Adelaide district.
But as Peter left for work that next Monday morning, leaving his family completely alone, he had no idea he was leaving Helena and his children at the mercy of something dark and sinister… Something unseen and violent lurked in the shadows, strange shadow figures roamed the old corrugated iron structure, something that wasn’t shy or recalcitrant about striking her in front of her children! With the passing of each day, Helena became increasingly tense and afraid, but she had to hold out – she had to put on a façade, keep a brave face until her husband returned. Because she knew, if they stayed there, someone was going to die.
Opsaal is a tale based on a family legend from the van der Westhuizen side of the author’s family lore, and hence, is based on a true story.
Details: Published: November 13, 2021 Words: 7,596 Pages: 36 (5 x 0.09 x 8 inches)
Coming soon as an audiobook!
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All material copyright © Christina Engela, 2021.