Mark Behr's novel, The Smell of Apples, is a beautifully written look at the world of an eleven year old Afrikaaner child in 1970's South Africa. It is history writ small. The horrors and corruption of a society under the heel of apartheid are shown effectively in this story of one family. It is a coming of age story that is both personal to the child and emblematic of the society around that child. This novel is excellant at showing an historical period in a way that a book of history never could. Mark Behr makes the society feel real, and is all the more chilling for having done so. It is the small quiet moments that truly are the most shocking and that is how it should be. An excellant novel about a time and place of which more people should be aware.