The plot of the novel develops in a very peculiar manner, both for David and for the reader. One would expect David to apologise for his actions with Melanie but his pride gets the better of him, and he willingly gives up his career. Initially David feels everything around him as mediocre and he’s content enough; even though we do not get the impression that he is really happy.
The conflict of his affair with Melanie lead to the complication of him losing his job and having to relocate to Lucy’s for a while.
While at Lucy’s smallholding, the climax of the novel occurs. David and Lucy are attacked by three men who set David on fire and gang rape Lucy. This incident leaves David feeling shaken and uneasy. The event in this scene sort of dictate the direction that David has to take in order to recover, adjust and survive in the new SA.
The denouncement of the novel sees David not knowing how to rebuild his relationship with his daughter after the incident. The more he tries to salvage it, the worse he makes things. He decides to go back to Cape Town and sort of try to tie up the loose ends of his life, try to make things right with Melanie but he finds out that she never wants to see him again. Therefore all he wants to do is to go back to the country, to Lucy.
The novel concludes with David going back to stay in Salem to help Bev out in the clinic and he continues working on his opera – which he feels is his personal legacy.