What drew to this novel was the title and the fact that it was touted as one of eleven best books of the year by the New York Times Book Review. That's what drew me. What I was in store for, I was unaware.
A well written book by J. M. Coetzee--Disgrace, is the story of a man and his view of the world. The story takes place in South Africa, where David Lurie, a professor of Communications at Cape Technical University, is faced with his disgrace. Now divorced, he has relations with whores, faculty members, and a student.
His downfall is Melanie, a student that he practically rapes when he visits her home. He has no feelings but his own. It is as if something overtakes him, and he gives in to his impulses. Melanie leaves school and the faculty finds out about this affair.
He is ousted from the university and leaves for the uplands of the Eastern Cape to visit his daughter, Lucy. Lucy is a work of art herself. She owns a farm where she grows flowers and sells them in town. She also takes in animals and cares for them.
She is raped when three men come into her home. Her field hand, Petrus, knows of the men and David is enraged. He wants Lucy to turn the men in but Lucy says this is not the way of the land. She wants to stay here and survive.
She, like him, makes decisions based on her own disgrace. He would not tell the truth about his demise, and she decides to carry the child conceived from the rape. They both have to accept each other's decisions and move on.
As David has been on the farm a while, he has encounters with Bev Shaw, the somewhat vet in these parts of the world. She loves animals, but hates to put them to sleep when sick. David works with her and they have relations. He feels sorry for her and gives her what she wants. He has nothing left of himself.