'Because the Sun Still Does Cast Shadows' spans sixty years and four continents, and has a colourful cast of characters that hail from all walks of life; all are entangled in a tale of love and loss that is elegantly portrayed in Haselhurst's rich, expressive prose. The story follows the life of Sophie Gilmore, the 'girl from the Klein Karoo', who is born on a farm in South Africa. Her family is brutally murdered when she is seven and after a short time in an orphanage she goes to live with her alcoholic relatives, and is only released from her incarceration when the farmhouse burns down and she is the sole survivor. With the life insurance money she travels to England, and on the way meets Ryan Burford-Banks, a police informant fleeing for his life who takes Sophie under his wing. Together they make a life for themselves in the capital. However, his past catches up with him and one day he disappears. Sophie learns to cope without him and fulfils her dreams of being a journalist, but leads a sad and unfulfilling life with a distant and increasingly violent husband. After two decades of misery, Sophie moves back to South Africa.
The title refers to the inability of the characters to shake off their roots, and we see history repeating itself, and patterns of behaviour that cannot be altered, whether through nature or nurture. 'Because the Sun Still Does Cast Shadows' is an original and intriguing book, with an inimitable style, and a beautifully-told story. The characters remain in the mind long after the novel's close, and leave a lasting impression. The author's rich vocabulary conjures up the wild, barren plains of the Klein Karoo, the grime and dirt of hustle-bustle Fleet Street in the 1960s, and the harsh, blinding South African sun.
Peter William Haselhurst was born on 11 August 1959 in the Lady Chancellor Hospital, Salisbury, in the former British colony of Rhodesia where he spent the first sixteen years of his life. His father came over from England after the war to be a policeman in the British South Africa Police. Peter studied for a tertiary qualification, graduating with a Diploma in Fine Art from the PE Technikon. Before this, he attended Grey High School in Port Elizabeth, South Africa in 1977, where he enjoyed sport and art. During his studies, Peter especially enjoyed expressionism and the landscape artists who have mastered the art of painting clouds. Having trained as a textile designer, Peter has been employed as a repeat artist and as a scientific illustrator. 'Because the Sun Still Does Cast Shadows' evolved from a collection of short essays Peter penned, not knowing that they would soon have him waking at one o'clock in the morning, each morning, wanting little other than to take things one step further, all the while looking unto such a day as this. Peter enjoys Italian food, red wine, dogs, early morning walks on the beach, the occasional good movie and a good book (his favourites being Stephen King's 'Dolores Claiborne' and 'Rose Madder'). That being said, he does prefer the challenge of writing, compared to the luxury that is reading. He describes himself as a bachelor who enjoys family and friends. Peter has a 19 year old son, Joshua, who intends to study engineering.