Growing up in a Northern Transvaal town during the State of Emergency in the
1980s, Ben Aronbach doesn’t fit in anywhere. Among the predominantly
Afrikaans, Christian inhabitants, he is the Jewish kid, but in the Jewish
community he is the boy from the family of lapsed shul-goers. Even though he is
learning Hebrew for his bar mitzvah, he feels like an outsider learning a foreign
Then Ben meets Leo Fein, a man who knew his father before he died.
When Leo includes the boy in his schemes, Ben feels exhilarated. Little does he
know the far-reaching impact that Leo will have on the Aronbach family’s life.
It is only years later, in the run-up to the 1992 Referendum, that Ben gets
a chance to confront the charlatan . . . but he also has to face his own guilt over
his family’s downfall.
Set during two important moments in South Africa’s history, Lucky
Packet is told with humour and poignancy.
“One of the best novels of recent years, and likely the most readable.” –
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