1963 As European colonists flee the Congo, a witchdoctor finds an abandoned child and teaches him the power of hatred. A hundred miles to the east, six American hippies on a joy ride across Africa, crash their VW bus in to a cemetery. While they wait for repairs they scandalize the local missionaries and Brenda Carter impulsively marries an African student.
2013: Brenda Carter brings Sarah, her deeply troubled granddaughter to Africa to explore her roots and meet her grandfather; the man Brenda married and abandoned fifty years before. When a Peace Corps worker is murdered, a baby is kidnapped, and all contact with the outside world is severed by a torrential rain storm, Sarah becomes an unwilling investigator making the connection between the abandoned boy from the Congo, the truth behind her grandmother’s marriage, and fifty years of undercover CIA involvement in the politics of Africa. A compelling tale of Africa today where witchdoctors co-exist with modern medicine, where warlords carry cell phones, and where one small nation stands at the cross roads of America’s War on Terror.
Based around East Africa and Uganda this story is about witchcraft, war, tribal feuds and control. If you understand African traditions, beliefs and general way of life then this is the book for you. If you don't, then a word of caution, you will find certain parts of the story line upsetting.
The novel revolves around a murder and a baby, who has been cursed by the local witch doctor and who the warlord wants in order to cure his tribe. On the other side we have a young 18 year old american girl who on her first visit to Uganda believes it is her destiny to rescue and keep the baby from harm.
The historic references and the fact that the story jumps from the past to the present explains the changes and the power struggle which ensues. It's fast paced, with excellent descriptive scenes and describes perfectly the rules of a nation where the basic rule and law is to survive. Also along with this is the way of the tribes and how you are dealt within that tribe depicts how you will treat and behave towards outsiders and nothing stops the tribe moving on ruling by terror.
I cannot praise this book high enough and this is my favourite read of the year, I must again stress that it is down to the tribal feuds and understanding of the story line, as mentioned some readers might find this upsetting.
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