In contemporary Sierra Leone, a devastating civil war has left an entire populace with secrets to keep. In the capital hospital, a gifted young surgeon is plagued by demons that are beginning to threaten his livelihood. Elsewhere in the hospital lies a dying man who was young during the country’s turbulent postcolonial years and has stories to tell that are far from heroic.
As past and present intersect in the buzzing city, these men are drawn unwittingly closer by a British psychologist with good intentions, and into the path of one woman at the centre of their stories. A work of breathtaking writing and rare wisdom, this book seamlessly weaves together two generations of African life to create a story of loss, absolution, and the indelible effects of the past—and, in the end, the very nature of love.
“A soft-spoken story of brutality and endurance . . . Forna’s insight, elegance and elegiac tone never falter. Tragedy and its aftermath are affectingly, memorably evoked in this multistranded narrative from a significant talent.” – Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“A sprawling, epic novel of love in Sierra Leone from Aminatta Forna, a rising literary star.”— Marie Claire