This debut novel, set in Nigeria, explores the impact of ongoing and past violence on the characters’ lives as they seek comfort where they can find it, and as they each grapple with feelings of longing and loss.
This novel tells the story of an unlikely romance between a Muslim widow and a street-tough drug dealer, as they both face their own struggles. Binta Zubairu, a 55-year-old woman, wakes up to the smell of cockroaches and knows something bad is going to happen, as it has in the past. Her home is robbed by a young man with a knife, but most of the stolen goods are returned a few days later and the thief apologizes. When he returns a third time, Binta and the thief, Hassan Babale, also known as Reza, are overcome by their attraction to each other and begin an illicit romance. Binta must also deal with the arrival of her daughter, Hureira, who has left her husband, and the strange behavior of her niece, Fa’iza. Meanwhile, Reza’s dangerous jobs for his boss, a senator, escalate.
A magnificent book that explores the themes of longing, loss and the conflict between duty and desire as the characters navigate a world tainted by violence.