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DJG Palmer

A Rougher Task

A Rougher Task

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It is 1878, and beneath the heat of the South African sun, a brutal war is brewing. Yet for the soldiers based at the dreary maritime barracks of Chatham, the prospect of journeying to this exotic land is an opportunity they cannot resist.

Albert Bond, a young lieutenant and academy graduate, is plagued by his family’s ruin as he desperately attempts to cling to the status of his wealthy upbringing. Yet he is soon forced to reassess his aspirations, his morals, and his feelings concerning class and rank as he realises his growing affection for his handsome batman Jack Coleman. Jack grew up as the lowest of the low, but his social disadvantages fail to supress his optimism and willingness to take risks, attributes that Bond cannot help but admire.

As the two men come to rely on one another for comfort and companionship amidst the animosity and indecision of war, their relationship begins to shift. But in a time of deep-rooted institutional and societal prejudice, will their intimacy blossom into something tangible?

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