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Synopsis

In this poignant, lyric memoir, a sister’s tragic death prompts a woman’s unbidden journey into her turbulent African past.

A comfortable suburban housewife with three children living in Connecticut, Wendy Kann thought she had put her volatile childhood in colonial Rhodesia—now Zimbabwe—behind her. Then one Sunday morning came a terrible phone call: her youngest sister, Lauren, had been killed on a lonely road in Zambia. Suddenly unable to ignore her longing for her homeland, she decides she must confront the ghosts of her past.

Wendy Kann’s is a personal journey, set against a backdrop as exotic as it is desolate. From a privileged colonial childhood of mansions and servants, her story moves to a young adulthood marked by her father’s death, her mother’s insanity, and the viciousness of a bloody civil war. Through unlikely love she finds herself in the incongruous sophistication of Manhattan; three children bring the security of suburban America, until the heartbreaking vulnerability of the small child her sister left behind in Africa compels her to return to a continent she hardly recognizes.

With honesty and compassion, Kann pieces together her sister’s life, explores the heartbreak of loss and belonging, and finally discovers the true meaning of home.


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