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Trevor Sacks

  • Original Title: LUCKY PACKET
  • Publication date: March 2019
  • Publisher: Kwela
  • Country: ZA
  • 346 print pages
  • Drama


  • Epoch: Historical
  • Time Period: 20th century
  • Location setting: South Africa
  • Themes: PEOPLE facing life, Redemption, Looking back on one's life, Facing failure, PEOPLE facing the extraordinary, Manipulation, Rivalry, SOCIETY DYSFUNCTIONS, Exclusion, Racism, Fanaticism, SOCIAL CHRONICLES, Intolerance, CHARACTERS, Minorities, Child


12-year-old Ben doesn’t fit in anywhere. In his small town in the 1980s, he’s a Jew among Christian Afrikaners; among Jews, he’s the boy from a family of lapsed shul-goers. But when he meets Leo Fein, he thinks he’s found his place. Fein, however, has designs on Ben’s mother and her modest fortune...


Debut novel

Trevor Sacks is a South African writer. He’s written non-fiction pieces for the New York Times and n+1, as well as music and lyrics for bands he’s performed in. He began LUCKY PACKET while enrolled in UCT’s Masters programme in Creative Writing.


Growing up in a Northern Transvaal town during the State of Emergency in the 1980s, Ben Aronbach doesn’t fit in anywhere. Among the predominantly Afrikaans, Christian inhabitants, he is the Jewish kid, but in the Jewish community he is the boy from the family of lapsed shul-goers.

Even though he is learning Hebrew for his bar mitzvah, he feels like an outsider learning a foreign language. Then Ben meets Leo Fein, a man who knew his father before he died. When Leo includes the boy in his schemes, Ben feels exhilarated. Little does he know the far-reaching impact that Leo will have on the Aronbach family’s life. Fein has designs on Ben’s mother and her modest fortune. It is only years later, in the run-up to the 1992 Referendum, that Ben gets a chance to confront the charlatan... As the end of apartheid approaches, Ben is thrust among political fugitives and right-wing extremists in an attempt to save his family and find redemption for his part in their downfall.

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