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Synopsis

Part memoir, part biography, infused with imaginative story-telling, The Road to Keringet is a compelling tale of a mother’s life and a tender exploration of a mother-daughter relationship. 

Maggie Ziegler’s mother had spent much of her life in love with words. When her mind begins to deteriorate, Mary asks her daughter to write the story of her life. As Ziegler begins to unearth her mother’s dramatic adventures, she realizes how little she really knows her, and so begins her own journey of discovery.

Mary, a dreamy child of a working class family, is stumbling into young adulthood when war comes to England. She is conscripted into the army and sent to Kenya where she marries a Jewish refugee. After leaving colonial Africa, their radical vision of freedom within marriage crashes against their unresolved pasts amid the hardships of postwar England and emigration to Canada.

Mary narrates her own story in this multi-layered book, her voice alternating with the author’s, who intersperses reflections with an account of her mother’s last years. The narrative moves fluidly between mother and daughter as both find their own voices, and, in the process, each other.

Maggie Ziegler is an insightful story-teller whose compassionate examination of her mother’s life comes alive with crisp dialogue, evocative description and narrative drive. This literary memoir is impossible to put down.

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