From a breathtaking new voice, winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing, a novel about a splintered family in Kenya and the struggling nation around it–a story of power and deceit and survival, grief and madness, unrequited love, sacrifice and perseverance.
Odidi Oganda, running for his life, is gunned down in the streets of Nairobi. His grief-stricken sister, Ajany, just returned from Brazil, and their father bring his body back to their crumbling home deep in the Kenyan drylands, seeking some comfort and peace. But the murder has stirred memories long left untouched, and unleashed a series of unexpected events: Odidi and Ajany’s mercurial mother flees in a fit of anguish and rage; a young Englishman arrives at the Ogandas’ house, seeking his missing father; a hardened policeman who has borne witness to unspeakable acts reopens a cold case; and an all-seeing Trader with a murky identity plots an overdue revenge. In scenes stretching from the violent upheaval of contemporary Kenya, back through a shocking political assassination in 1969 and the Mau Mau uprisings against British colonial rule in the 1950s, we come to learn the secrets held by this parched landscape, buried deep within the shared past of the family and of a conflicted nation. Here is a spellbinding novel about a brother and sister who have lost their way; about how myths come to pass, history is written, and war stains us forever.