A breathtaking novel of loves lost and new, of man and nature, and of the hidden side of a multicultural metropolis, from award-winning writer Aminatta Forna.
London. A fox makes its way across Waterloo Bridge. Distracted, two pedestrians collide—Jean, an American studying the habits of urban foxes, and Attila, a Ghanaian psychiatrist. Attila has arrived in London with two tasks: to deliver a keynote speech on trauma, as he has done many times before; and to contact his “niece” Ama who hasn’t called home in a while. Ama has been swept up in an immigration crackdown, and now her young son Tano is missing. Meeting again by chance, Attila and Jean begin to mobilize neighborhood rubbish men, security guards, hotel doormen, traffic wardens—mainly West African immigrants—to search for the boy; a deepening friendship between the two of them also unfolds. Meanwhile a consulting case causes Attila to question the impact of his own ideas on trauma, the values of the society he finds himself in and a grief of his own. In this masterful tale of love and loss, of cruelty and kindness, Forna asks us to consider the interconnectedness of lives, our coexistence with one another and all living creatures, and the true nature of happiness.