Sara Highbury, forty-eight years old, is the manageress of a boarding house in early 1900s South Africa. She lives her life in the past, haunted by a love affair with a diamond digger called Herbert.
One day a young child arrives at Sara's door. Apparently the girl is Herbert's illegitimate daughter and it seems there is no one else to look after her. Having a child to care for disrupts Sara's quiet routine. Troubled by the mystery surrounding the girl's arrival, Sara begins to excavate the past. As the truth unfolds, Sarah must re-evaluate what she holds dear and engage once more with the world around her.
With the backdrop of a rural landscape and characters that are as memorable as they are unexpected, The Shape of Him introduces a writer whose spare, exquisitely crafted prose places her deservedly in the tradition of the best of South African literary fiction.