The action in this novel takes place in Uganda where the Lord's Resistance Army has been terrorising the population for many years. The story is told in turn by Jane, an American journalist who is keen to expose the atrocities perpetrated by the warlord Kony, and Esther, a schoolgirl who is abducted by the Army.
The contrast between Jane's life among the expats in Kenya where she lodges with various friends and acquaintances and falls in love with Harry and Esther's struggle to stay alive and escape a dreadful fate, could not be greater. The two women eventually meet and Esther is able to talk about her experiences. The abduction, rape and other abuses that she suffered makes for painful reading. All the pupils at her school were taken by the Army who then kept thirty girls, the healthiest and prettiest, to breed children for Kony, and sent the rest back.
There is a twist at the end of the book which is completely unforseen and heart-rending. I thought the descriptions of the land, plants and wildlife and the heat were masterly, and the characters are very human. There would be plenty to discuss, not least the plight of those caught up in unjust wars and the treatment of women and children.