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Publisher's Summary

A poignant story about friendship, betrayal, obsession and second chances – this novel is an immensely powerful portrayal of human resilience.
Sierra Leone: civil war has left an entire population with terrible secrets to keep. In the capital's hospital Kai, a gifted young surgeon, is plagued by demons. Elsewhere in the hospital lies Elias Cole, a university professor who recalls the love that drove him to acts that are far from heroic. As past and present intersect, Kai and Elias are drawn unwittingly closer and into the path of one woman at the centre of their stories.
©2010 Aminatta Forna (P)2011 W F Howes Ltd
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Customer Reviews

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By Abby on 07-21-15

Outstanding narrator

Captures a diverse set of accents superbly. I bought this book months ago and just couldn't get into it. Then, I couldn't stop listening. It is historical fiction but it is such recent history that it blows your mind away to know what people still have to endure. Brilliant!

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By Anthony on 08-22-13

Interwoven lives in conflict-affected Sierra Leone

This is a wonderful book which examines the interwoven lives and loves of a handful of people in conflict-affected Sierra Leone. It explores the stories of a Sierra Leonian academic and political scientist who is incarcerated, threatened and broken; a Sierra Leonian surgeon whose personal experiences and helplessness during the war have left him with post-traumatic stress disorder, insomnia and a desire ultimately to leave his homeland; and an English psychologist working in the country with patients with mental health problems, who questions and is questioned, about his own motives and ability to contribute. The women in their lives are less to the fore but present a powerful backdrop of interconnected resilience despite adversity. They too are tragically often defeated by the overwhelming brutality of war and the lack of resources in such a poor post-conflict country. The language is beautiful and the different perspectives and perceptions come through strongly. The book powerfully offers insights to Sierra Leone, the politics, the war and conflict, the challenges, the strengths and, perhaps to a lesser extent, the underlying hope...

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful


By Valerie on 02-20-16

Depressing

Sad and depressing book. Wish I hadn't listened to it. Good narrator but a tragic story

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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