The Texture of Shadows is set at the turn of the decade 1989–90, a high point of hope in South Africa’s political history. The nation is abuzz with rumours of Nelson Mandela’s imminent release, the dismantling of guerrilla camps by the African National Congress, and the possibility of a realistic peace process. The central plot concerns the return of a band of exiled Umkhonto we Sizwe soldiers to South Africa in 1989. The Texture of Shadows explores a world of hardened guerrilla fighters, corrupt police officers, ex-political prisoners, and the victims of abuse of a system of bannings and beatings. But there are also cracks in this steel-edged world that hope, love and beauty can fill as the reader is swept up in the story of Chaplain Nerissa Rodrigues and her fellow soldiers.