“Fiela’s Child is a nostalgic book; Nostalgic not for the past, but for a future already abandoned by history. On the one hand, it is quite empty, on the other, strangely moving.”
In this critical review, the critic, Peter Anderson, claims the story as having nostalgic characteristics. I agree with his statement, to an extent. There is in-fact, a great amount of nostalgic feelings expressed; such as, Benjamin’s initial emotional response of Fiela after he was taken away and forced to live with the Van Rooyens. He did not see himself as a Van Rooyen, but only as a Koomotie whom which he was raised and loved. The critic also says that the book is “Nostalgic not for the past, but for a future already abandoned by history”, here I believe he is talking about the timeline of the story and the relationships between characters.
Such as, Fiela’s relationship with Benjamin; Fiela’s loved him and was looking forward to continuing to raise him as one of her own, like-wise Benjamin wanted to live with them as he considered the Koomoties his family. The same example can be used in his relationship with Nina. The critic is basically saying that the nostalgic feeling of emotion expressed are not towards past events—Benjamin’s initial abduction, and placement into the Van Rooyen family—but towards the future in which he missed out on. Overall, the critic made a viable statement about the story as a whole that did in-fact make sense.