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When Abie’s family leave her a coffee plantation, she returns to Africa to find herself in a place suspended between past and present; between the real world and the unworldly.Standing among the ruined groves she strains to hear the sound of the past, but ‘the layers of years in between us were too many’. So begins her gathering of the past through the stories of her four aunts – Asana, Mary, Hawa and Serah. Each woman recounts her life from a mass of muddied memories and vivid recollections of the father they feared, the men they loved, the mothers who left them, and above all, the secrets they shared. What also emerges is the story of an Africa drawn to the temptations of the West but desperate to cling to its own ways.


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