Friday, 18 February 2011


Winner of  the Crink and Leisure Books writing competition for 'an inspiring story about a life-changing event.' 

"I first met Neville in a chance encounter at a fireworks display when I was a sixteen-year-old schoolgirl. He was a lean and lanky farmer with laughter in his eyes and a warm smile in his strong confident voice. A few weeks later he shared his dream to have a farm of his own one day. Not just an ordinary run-of-the-mill farm, but one with a large river running through it.

Our parents were surprisingly accepting. 'We like him; you can't tell that he is South African' observed my parents approvingly while Neville's parents said to him 'She's very nice; you wouldn't know that she's English.'

In 1976 we moved onto seven thousand acres of virgin bush that went by the name of Chimbada ranch. It was love at first sight."
Wendy Brown and her husband, Neville, realised their dream in Zimbabwe and then lost it. Her story gives a firsthand, fresh and sometimes surprising perspective on turbulent years, and reveals the beauty of the country, the strength of community and the resilience of the human spirit.

It carries the enduring message that courage, caring, love and laughter shine light in the darkest of times. It shows the difference made by tolerance and forgiveness and how life can be celebrated in spite of its blows.

“I thought it was one of the best books I've read recently about Zimbabwe. The more deeply personal, the more universal.”   
Liz Stewart, Editor

“This book will inspire you to keep looking up. The darker the sky, the brighter the stars shine. I really recommend it.
Angus Buchan

LIGHT ON A DARK CANVAS IBSN no 978-0620-47752-9

Outside South Africa, purchase online for US$28.00 inclusive of shipping cost from South Africa.

Inside South Africa: purchase directly from the author for R165 inclusive of postage by emailing

Wendy's paintings:


Fish eagle calling

African hearbeat
Wild dogs and their puppies

View from Selina's studio

Kudus at Mana

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