Racial persecution

Kindness backfires: Sufferance, by Charles Palliser, reviewed

Charles Palliser’s Sufferance tells us what happens to one family in an occupied country during wartime. What sets it apart is that all the characters are unnamed. The country, region and historical period also remain unspecified. This indeterminacy lends the novel enormous power. The father of the family decides to take in a young girl from a minority ethnic group who has become separated from her own family. ‘I felt for her as if she was my own child,’ he says. Yet his motives are not entirely altruistic, since he believes he will be financially rewarded for looking after the girl. He is a lowly accountant working in the public