Book Review: Blood Lily by Mason Cranswick

“Scott is facing bankruptcy amid the turmoil that grips the financial markets of 2008. He is saved when money is transferred to his account from an unexpected source. We flash back to war-torn 1970’s Rhodesia where Scott is growing up as a privileged white boy alongside his best friend, Simba, a black boy, on his parents’ farm…”

Blood Lily by Mason Cranswick is “a sweeping tale of naivety, treachery, war and genocide, of love and friendship… and ultimately of hope and regeneration”

The book mainly revolves around the fictional relationship between two boys born in Rhodesia (now Zim) and one that many who grew up in Africa may be able to relate to: One boy is the son of a white farmer and the other is the son of a black domestic worker on the same farm and at the core of the novel is a message of hope and promise for Zimbabwe.

By Ingrid La Trobe on Amazon: “The two boys grow up together as best of friends, with the black servant and her son regarded as part of the wider family circle on the white man’s farm. But therein lies the problem in this relationship and the wider society of Rhodesia, as such a paternal outlook fails to provide the basis for true equality and shared aspiration for all the country’s people. Cranswick’s story takes us through the years of civil war in Rhodesia into the tragedy of life today in Zimbabwe, and there is plenty of excitment and drama to keep one engaged, in what is ultimately a story of betrayal, redemption and Africa’s endurance despite the folly of man. ” An easy to read and well written book that every Zimbabwean or anyone interested in Zimbabwe should read. Even though it is a fictional account, it portrays a part of our history in a wonderful story of how in the end, friendship can conquer all. Blood Lily was hard to put down and leaves you with mixed feelings of some sadness for the past, but also of hope for the future.

Mason Cranswick

Born and raised in Zimbabwe, Mason Cranswick received an MBA from Cambridge University (Magdalene College) in 1995. Prior to that he qualified as a Chartered Accountant in the UK, after obtaining a degree in commerce from Rhodes University, South Africa. Like many Zimbos. Manson is a keen sportsman and has played international rugby for Zimbabwe Schools in 1984 and, as an amateur boxer, was a Cambridge University Blue and captain in 1994/95. He now lives in Cape Town in South Africa.


A contribution of one British Pound will be made to Zimbabwean Pensioners (M’dala Trust) for every ebook sold anywhere in the world outside South Africa. For all South African online sales and sales to readers made directly from the Publisher’s or Author’s office (not including retail outlets such as bookstores/shops etc) a contribution of R15 per book sold will be made to M’dala Trust. On top of this Manson has said that he will for the first five thousand books sold in South Africa make an additional personal contribution of R2,000 for every thousand books sold anywhere in South Africa to the Zane High Density Areas Medical Appeal, that is working in the communities in the high-density areas surrounding Harare and other major cities.

Where to Buy Blood Lily

Blood Lily by Manson CranswickAmazon, in the UK and US have paperback copies of the book and in the US, you can also buy a digital Kindle Book version:

UK Shoppers UK
Blood Lily on

US Shoppers USA

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South African Shoppers South Africa

Buy Blood Lily from the Publishers Website

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  • Christine Cleal

    Nothing has inspired more debate in my geriatric book group than Blood Lilies. Can someone please tell us where in Zimbabwe Mason Cranswick was born, and in which school he was educated. One of our group finds the “secrecy” rather infuriating. (vide Steve Godwin where everything hangs out). I taught many of his generation in the late 60’s and early 70’s, and far too many of them went under the sod. I was doubly unfortunate to be a history teacher, and had a tough row to hoe in Maranellas high, Chaplin, Prince Edward, Mabelreign and Arundel. They were all OK when they realised I ws only there to teach History. I am married to an Old Hararian who boxed and loves Zimbabwe as I learned to do.
    Many thanks