Amid the majestic, stony plains of South Africa's Karoo lies the small town of Yearsonend. Here, Ingi Friedlander comes to buy a sculpture for the new Houses of Parliament. And here she gradually discovers the secrets and scandals that keep the townspeople so tight-lipped, particularly about a legendary, missing wagon of Boer gold. Most silent of them all is Mario Salviati: stonemason, Italian prisoner of war, deaf, now blind - and dumb. Peopled by ostrich-feather magnates, dreamers, artists, dam builders and a decidedly earthy angel, this captivating novel spans South Africa's part and present as it taps the lifeblood of a complex, tumultuous yet magical country.