Nicholas Van der Swart has always been different. His family and his culture expect him to be one way, to live according to their precepts and rules, but his sense of self is strong and efforts to make him conform have only made him stronger. Diffident and introverted as a child, Nicholas learns as a young man that remaining true to oneself, however hard it may be, is an undertaking worth risking one's life for. When, at the age of 19, he is conscripted into the South African army, he enters a world that is utterly at odds with his every sensibility and his hard-won personal fortitude will be put to the ultimate test. In this world, he will face the scorn and violence of his tormentors, but will also find the strength to survive.--From book jacket.