Second Best

When a hardened war journalist falls in love with a juvenile delinquent, the battle becomes a fight to redeem his soul, and to save hers.

The first time that Molly sees Malcolm is in Oudtshoorn, South Africa in 1978, when he jumps from the back of an army truck to challenge her through the school yard fence. Little did she know then, when she boldly gave him the middle finger, how their lives would become intertwined.

Surviving the secret horrors of an industrial school, juvenile delinquent Molly van Aswegen grows into a tough and troubled woman who has sworn never to love anyone enough to be vulnerable. When Malcolm McLeod, rebel journalist and soldier, comes home from the Angolan border war to save Molly from her institution, he starts fighting a different war – the battle for both of their souls.

Molly’s fight for survival and Malcolm’s moral struggle will expose them as anti-conformists, at risk of being branded and outcast from society during a politically turbulent time when South Africa is in the midst of a twenty-three year long war.

Second Best is a story about the scars of the human soul and the road that leads to healing.

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Second Best is a read you sink into—it’s engaging and satisfying, and every single one of its characters is deeply interesting.
My favorite thing about the novel is the writing itself—the prose is descriptive and vivid without being overly flowery.

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Second Best