Synopses & Reviews
The long-awaited novel from the best-selling, award-winning author of Evening is a literary tour de force set in war-torn Africa.
Esther is a Ugandan teenager abducted by the Lord's Resistance Army and forced to witness and commit unspeakable atrocities, who is struggling to survive, to escape, and to find a way to live with what she has seen and done. Jane is an American journalist who has traveled to Africa, hoping to give a voice to children like Esther and to find her center after a series of failed relationships. In unflinching prose, Minot interweaves their stories, giving us razor-sharp portraits of two extraordinary young women confronting displacement, heartbreak, and the struggle to wrest meaning from events that test them both in unimaginable ways.
With mesmerizing emotional intensity and stunning evocations of Africa's beauty and its horror, Minot gives us her most brilliant and ambitious novel yet.
“Dreamlike....Though the shifting narratives start out highlighting the stark contrasts between the two worlds, they eventually collide as violence enters the privileged white enclave....A deeply affecting title that manages to express weighty sentiments and horrific events with subtlety and poetry.” Library Journal (starred review)
“Haunting....With brilliantly effective understatement, the novel conveys Esther’s complex psychological evolution...Minot’s risky narrative ploy...pays off at the end, when senseless tragedy shows Jane how quickly lives can be changed and invests her with a higher sense of purpose.” Publishers Weekly
“Riveting....Heartbreaking....Hauntingly beautiful prose.” Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Susan Minot is an award-winning novelist, short-story writer, poet, and screenwriter. Her first novel, Monkeys, was published in a dozen countries and won the Prix Femina Étranger in France. Her novel Evening was a worldwide best seller and became a major motion picture. She received her MFA from Columbia University and lives with her daughter in New York City and on an island off the coast of Maine.