The first novel of Sophia Mustafa.
Thirteen-year-old Shaira, bright and ambitious, is to be engaged to a young Asian doctor, Mussavir-who has joined a volunteer medical corps to serve in Ethiopia (Abyssinia), defending itself from Mussolini's Italian army. Neither of them has much choice, but when the two meet, their apprehensions fall apart and they fall in love. The engagement takes place, Mussavir sets off for the Ethiopian front, and an unexpectedly cruel fate unfolds for the couple. This beautiful novel reveals a rare insight into life in early colonial Kenya, from the perspective of an Asian Muslim family. The poignant story of the young Shaira, her innocence caught in the web of larger events, adult concerns, and a restrictive tradition, is sure to capture the heart.