"You are bound here, caught in this crook of land. The river runs straight into your heart, the vena cava bringing blood without oxygen, to be renewed and restored, renewed and restored." So Betsy, the pregnant daughter back from America, presses her dying father, a Jewish South African doctor, to relive his troubled past and hers. The beauty of Anne Landsman's novel The Rowing Lesson
(Soho Press) is in its fluid metaphors, its urgent storytelling laced with fragments of Afrikaans, and the lyric desperation of a daughter's love.