Many things happen to Michael on the trip. He is captured and made to work for awhile, and then released. He finds what he thinks is the farm where his mother was raised and makes himself a home (if you can call it that) there. Struggling to survive and evade the government, in the midst of it all he still wants to be a gardener and plants a small pumpkin patch, which he guards and tends with fervor.
The book is told in three parts. Parts I and III describe the storyline from Michael's perspective. Part II is told in first person by a doctor who tries to understand Michael when he is brought under his care. This was a thought-provoking book and I enjoyed it, though I could have done without some scenes at the end. I'll definitely read more by Coetzee.
I could live here forever, he thought, or till I die. Nothing would happen, every day would be the same as the day before, there would be nothing to say.
1983, 184 pp.