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Synopsis

At the news of her son BJ's involvement in gang crime, Idora Morrison, a maid at the local university, collapses in her basement apartment. For four days and nights she retreats into a vortex of memory, pain, and disappointment that becomes a riveting exposé of her life as a Caribbean immigrant living abroad. While she struggled to make ends meet, her deadbeat husband, Bertram, abandoned her for a better life in New York. Left alone to raise her son, Idora has done her best to survive against immense odds. But now that BJ has disappeared into a life of crime, she recoils from his loss and is unable to get out of bed, burdened by feelings of invisibility.

As she summons the strength to investigate her son's troubles—and her own weaknesses—the book quietly builds to its crescendo. Eventually Idora finds her way back into the light with a courage that is both remarkable and unforgettable.

More zeroes in, with laserlike intensity, on the interior life of an extraordinary "ordinary woman," showcasing Clarke's skill as a writer of inimitable force.

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